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League Championship Series Set

October 14, 2010 - Seth Staskey
The greatest week of the baseball year is set to commence, starting Friday. The League Championship Series in both the American and National Leagues get under way this weekend.

The Yankees and the Rangers will meet for the A.L. pennant. Personally, I like the Yankees in six. The fact that Texas was stretched to a fifth game against Tampa Bay threw its rotation out of whack to the point where Cliff Lee can't go until Game 3. Lee, who's never pitched on short rest, has had the Yankees' number of late. He beat them twice in the World Series last year for the Phillies and has handed it to them during the season this year with both the Mariners and the Rangers. He's as good as there is in baseball and even though the Yankees' lineup is loaded, he's got nasty stuff and will have his way. I still like the Yankees because their pitching came through in the divisional series against Minnesota. C.C. Sabathia was the ace you'd expect for the money he's making, but Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte were tremendous. Hughes was so good, that Joe Girardi bumped him to game two, meaning he'll pitch Saturday. Plus, the Bronx Bombers still have Mariano in the back end of their pen and a lineup, which has hit well against the Rangers (outside of Cliff Lee).

In the National League, it's the Phillies against the Giants. If you're a fan of pitching, this is the series to watch. Therefore, if you're a fan of a lot of runs being scored, you'd better stick with football for the weekend. These two teams have the best pitching staffs in the National League with deep starting rotations and more than adequate bullpens. Roy Halladay is probably going to win the National League Cy Young. Fresh off his no hitter against the Reds in the divisional series, he appears prime for another big series. He's my early pick for NLCS MVP. Cole Hammels was brilliant against the Reds and Roy Oswalt wasn't as good as the others, but he was superb in September and I look for him to rebound. On the flip side, the Giants took out Atlanta in four games. Neither team won a game by more than one run. Tim Lincecum will match up with Halladay Saturday night and it could be a long one. Lincecum fanned 14 Braves in Game one of the LDS last week. He had the Braves guessing and swinging at air all night long. Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgardner was brilliant in his playoff debut in game four of the LDS despite not figuring in the decision. As for my pick, I am taking Philadelphia in 7. I think the Phillies have much better offense with the likes of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and my pick for NLCS MVP Jayson Werth. It's going to be the team, which can scratch across a few runs who steals this series and I think Philadelphia is better equipt to do that.

As for my World Series pick, I am still stewing on it.

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter, check out @TLSportsSeth

Until next time.


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