2011 NLDS Prediction – Phillies and Cardinals

St. Louis @ Philadelphia NLDS Prediction –

Starting Pitching – If the Cardinals could run out game one starter Chris Carpenter for every game, the might have a chance. With Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt this is a major mismatch!

Edge – Phillies, huge!

Relief Pitching – The thing is the Phillies starters are so good they relegate the bullpen to virtually meaningless. Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo have been effective, if not spectacular at times. The Cardinals counter with a largely unproven closer in Fernando Sales. The setup men are solid in Michael Boggs and Jason Motte. All in all, this is a wash.

Edge – Even

Offensive Intangibles – The Cardinals have clear advantage in offense, but is it enough to offset the distinct advantage the Phillies have in pitching. What the Cardinals really need is Pujols or Berkman to have a “James Loney”-type moment where they deliver a huge bomb early in game one to set the tone for the entire series.

Edge – Cardinals

Finish – Phils finished the key “50” at 33-17, while the Cardinals were merely 29-21. But the Cardinals finished the regular season on a 21-8 run; they caught the Braves and have “Rockie”, circa 2007, like fell to them.

Edge – Cardinals

Managers – I never been a LaRussa fan and his series rotation decisions are perplexing at best. The Cardinals skipper is starting his number four in game one and waiting to start a very serviceable Edwin Jackson until game four or game one of next season! Wow, just wow. LaRussa optimizes the manager who gets in the way of the team’s success. On the other side, Charlie Manuel’s goal in life is to breath, which gives the Phils a giant advantage.

Edge – Phillies

Anti-Yankee bias – There is no way I want to see the Cardinals being able to defeat the Yankees in the World Series. If that happens, chalk up #28 before the series begins. But the Phillies have motivation (2009 WS), as well as the dominate pitching.

Edge – Phillies

Prediction – Phillies 3 Cardinals 0

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s