ALCS Preview

Indians_3 CLEVELAND INDIANS

(99-67; AL CENTRAL CHAMPS/DEF NYY 3-1 in LDS)

VS.

Sox_1 BOSTON RED SOX

(99-66; AL EAST CHAMPS/DEF LAA 3-0 in LDS)

Tale of the Tape…

Catcher: Victor Martinez (CLE) vs. Jason Varitek (BOS): Great catching matchup with these two teams.  Varitek definately has the playoff experience and is the unquestioned leader of the Sox.  But Martinez is the anchor of the Cleveland order.  Advantage: Cleveland

1st Base: Ryan Garko (CLE) vs. Kevin Youklis (BOS): Both guys had good LCS.  Garko is establishing himself as a breakout star in the playoffs.  We also are featuring a matchup of mlbloggers.  Compare them yourself.  Garko or YouklisSmall Advantage: Cleveland

2nd Base: Asdrubal Cabrera (CLE) vs. Dustin Pedroia (BOS): Both guys are the young up and comers that the baseball world is finally finding out about.  Pedroia gets the edge as he is the likely AL Rookie of the Year.  Small Advantage: Boston

3rd Base: Casey Blake (CLE) vs. Mike Lowell (BOS): The Indianola native didn’t quite have a very spectacular LDS against New York, but is a serious long ball threat with a flare for the dramatic.  He still pales in comparison to Lowell who has a ring with the 2003 Marlins.  Advantage: Boston

Shortstop: Jhonny Perralta (CLE) vs. Julio Lugo (BOS): Perralta is a solid ballplayer and had a nice LDS, despite as previously mentioned his mother not knowing how to spell the most common of all names.  Lugo is a far cry from Nomahhh or Orlando Cabrera.  Advantage: Cleveland

Left Field: Kenny Lofton (CLE) vs. Manny Ramirez (BOS): Kenny Lofton has been the playoffs 11 times in his carrer and is still looking for his first ring.  He also had a nice LDS.  But Manny is crazy hot after his Game 2 Walk Off and Game 3 Moon shot.  Huge Advantage: Boston

Center Field: Grady Sizemore (CLE) vs. Coco Crisp (BOS): Its Grady vs. the guy Grady replaced.  Sizemore continues to be one of the fastest rising stars in the game.  There is a reason they ditched their old CF.  Huge Advantage: Cleveland

Right FIeld: Franklin Guttierez (CLE) vs. JD Drew (BOS): There is only one thing I know about Franklin Guttierez.  He’s not JD Drew.  Huge Advantage: Cleveland

Designated Hitter: Travis Hafner (CLE) vs. David Ortiz (BOS): Hafner is a very dangerous power threat and had a tremendous LDS, but Big Papi is Big Papi and there is no one on the planet who you’d want to face less than him in a clutch spot.  Advantage: Boston

Starting Rotation: This is a fun matchup.  Sabathia and Carmona vs. Beckett and Schilling.  I like the Indians big two better than Boston’s, but I worry about Westbrook and Byrd more than I do about Matsuzaka and Wakefield.  Its almost a wash.  Almost.  Small Advantage: Cleveland

Bullpen: Keep in mind this rating will not include the closers.  The Indians have set up men that keep coming.  Perez and Betancourt are tremendous.  The Sox have great experience with Timlin and Gagne and the unknown in Okajima. Small Advantage: Boston

Closer: Joe Borowski (CLE) vs. Jonathan Papelbon (BOS): Do I really need to break this down for you?  Borowski is the shakiest closer in the playoffs, and Papelbon has been money for two years.  Huge Advantage: Boston

Manager: Eric Wedge (CLE) vs. Terry Francona (BOS): Is it just me or does Eric Wedge look completely miserable at all times.  Not in the Tony La Russa/Bill Belichick school of not smiling, but the I hate my job school of not smiling.  Francona on the other hand always looks like he is enjoying himself.  Not sure any of that matters, just warrants mentioning.  Playoff edge goes to Francona though.  Advantage: Boston

Other Catergories…

Best Team Ever: 1995 Indians vs. 2004 Red Sox: The 95 Indians continued a half century long curse by failing to win it all after going 100-44 during the season.  The 04 Red Sox ended a Three-Quarter Century curse with one of the most improbable runs in Playoff History.  Advantage: Boston

Biggest Heartbreak: Indians in 95 World Series; Mesa blows lead on Tony Fernandez error vs. Red Sox in 86 World Series; The ball gets through Buckner: This would have been a much easier choice about 4 years ago, but its still the Buckner game by a mile.  2 outs no one on and a lead in the 10th inning of Game 6.  Sox fans still haven’t gotten over it. Disadvantage: Boston

Hometown Fans: Both are great sets of fans.  The Indians fans are nothing if not loyal, but the Red Sox fans are everywhere.  Despite being annoying they love that team and are as rabid as you’ll see.  Advantage: Boston

Stadium: Jacobs Field vs. Fenway Park: The Jake is a nice park and all, and its one of the best of the new era parks.  But there is only one Fenway.  Advantage: Boston

Mascot: Slider vs. Wally the Green Monster: Huge bonus points for Wally for the hilarious Posada/Ortiz SportsCenter commerical.  That and I have no idea what Slider is.  Advantage: Boston

City: Cleveland vs. Boston: Both cities have a nice charm to them, despite huge differences.  Cleveland is blue collar, Boston is white collar.  Boston is not really my style. Way too stuffy.  Advantage: Cleveland

Franchise Icon: Bob Feller vs. Ted Williams: Both are/were big time @$$holes.  Feller was from Iowa which earns him points, but Ted Williams would be on baseball’s Mt. Rushmore.  No question here.  Advantage: Boston

Series Prediction: Oh this is gonna be good.  Real good.  Expect a lot of pitchers duels and a full seven games.  A game seven (if everyone pitches on normal rest) would be Dice-K vs. Westbrook.  Does the Japaneese import finally earn his money?

Cleveland in 7

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One comment

  1. morbidlyobese@aol.com

    How come you haven’t update your blog? I can’t wait to start making fun of you and the caridnals again.

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