TigsTown Roundtable: World Series Champs

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Who do you think pulls out the 2009 World Series?

Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
While it pains me to say it, I think the Yankees will end their near decade-long title drought and claim the World Series in six games. Both teams can score, but the edge in run production has to go to the Yankees given the fact that they posted nearly 100 more runs than the Phillies did over the course of the season. Pitching should be a closer battle, but the Yankees' staff ERA was only a tenth of a run higher in the higher run scoring AL (for comparison the Yanks ERA was 4.26 compared to 4.45 for the AL, while the Phillies were at 4.16 compared to the NL average of 4.19). The starting ptichers match up well against each other with both sides having a strong 1-3, but then there's the elephant in the room; Brad Lidge. Lidge blew 11 saves in the 2009 season, and while he's converted a perfect 3-for-3 so far in the postseason, he didn't have to get any of them against the powerful Yankee lineup. I expect a good series and at least a couple of high intensity, pressure-packed games, but see the Bronx Bombers returning to the crown in the baseball world.

Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
I've been telling friends all along that I think the Phillies are capable of repeating as World Series champions, so I suppose it is time to put my money where my mouth is. The Philadelphia Phillies will win the 2009 World Series. There, it's in writing. This Phillies team (and last year's for that matter) is built to win under any conditions. They can slug with some of the American League's best, behind bats like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Jayson Werth. They can cause havoc on the bases in low scoring games with Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. The can pitch it with the likes of Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and even Pedro Martinez. They can simply do everything you want, at any time. In a series that is likely to be quite offensively fueled, I think the Phillies are going to be able to touch up AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte for some runs, while holding the Yankees in check (note, in check in this series might be six or seven runs a game). Phightin' Phils in six.

Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'm going with the Yankees in seven. Both teams can really swing the bats. The Phillies have been rolling with Shane Victorino and Ryan Howard among others, plus Carlos Ruiz has gotten some big hits, but Alex Rodriguez is having a monster postseason, and the Yankees have reached the World Series with Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Nick Swisher all hitting below .238 in the playoffs, so I would expect a few of those guys to pick it up. Pitching-wise, the Yankees may have to use a fourth starter for the first time in the postseason barring any weather cancellations, and A.J. Burnett will have to pitch well. I would guess the Phillies would pitch Pedro Martinez in Game 2, because he will not be intimidated one bit by pitching in New York, but if the Phillies are going to win, Cole Hamels has to right the ship. Philadelphia's bullpen has pitched well in the postseason, and that must continue as well. It's also interesting to note that ex-Cleveland aces CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee will likely oppose one another in Game 1. In the annals of baseball history, Philadelphia is the most downtrodden franchise with over 10,000 losses, while the Yankees are taking aim at their 27th world title, so there's another angle. Overall, I think this series has a chance to be outstanding with lots of twists and turns. Both teams are seasoned with postseason experience with the Phillies looking to repeat, and the Yankees looking to overcome years of frustration with several near-misses after last winning in 2000. Given everything, I give the Yankees a slight edge, particularly in the pitching department, and I think that will be the difference.

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