2007 ALCS Preview
- Updated: October 12, 2007
2007 ALCS Preview
Players to watch in this series: Boston Red Sox
Josh Beckett: is a BIG time playoff pitcher and one of the top Cy Young Award Candidates this year! He’s coming off a complete game, 4 hit shutout with 8K’s in game 1 of the ALDS & will be opposed in game 1 of this series by Sabathia, another Cy Young Award candidate (one of these two men will likely win this award)
Curt Schilling: is coming off a 7 inning shutout of his own, allowing 6 hits with 4 K’s in game 3 of the ALDS, he’s now pitching in game 2 against Carmona
Daisuke Matsuzaka: which version of Dice-K will we see in game three? His start could be a turning point in this series!
Hideki Okajima: looks to be back on track after tiring in late August into September, but went 2.1 scoreless IP allowing only 1 hit and 2 K’s in the ALDS. They need him to keep this up!
Jonathon Papelbon: great move putting him back into the closer’s role at the end of spring training as he collected 37 saves with a 1.85 ERA & 0.77 WHIP! He’s as dominant a closer as anyone could ask for in this series. At closer, the advantage goes to Boston, hands down!
2B Dustin Pedroia: needs to be a table setter for Manny, Ortiz & Lowell (3-4-5 hitters)
1B Kevin Youkilis: needs to do better than a .286 OBP in this series. He, like Pedroia, needs to get on base in front of the big 3
3B Mike Lowell: is coming off one of his best years in baseball, if not his best! He’s coming off a series where he hit .333 with a .364 OBP & 3 RBI’s in the ALDS & needs to keep it up for Boston to move onto the World Series
DH David Ortiz: see his numbers that I posted in AL 4 to 2 part 1. More of the same would almost guarantee a berth into the World Series by the Sox
LF Manny Ramirez: see his numbers that I posted in AL 4 to 2 part 1. It looks as if Manny has fully recovered from his oblique injury that kept him out for most of September. Good thing for the Sox, bad thing for the Angels & Indians!
Players to watch in this series: Cleveland Indians
C.C. Sabathia: had a tough outing against the Yankees in game 1, but still recorded a win even though he walked more batters than he struckout: 6 to 5 & gave up 3 runs in only 5 innings. This Cy Young candidate needs to pitch better than that to beat the Red Sox’ Cy Young candidate in game one Friday night!
Fausto Carmona: in game 2, he went the distance allowing only 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5. Indian fans would like to see a repeat performance out of their surprise star starter. He will play a key role in the Indians chances in this series. Pitching should determine who wins this series
Paul Byrd/Jake Westbrook: one of these two guys needs to come up big for the Indians to feel good about their chances in this series (My bet would be on Byrd)
Rafael Betancourt/Jensen Lewis: both pitched 2 scoreless innings in the ALDS & need a repeat performance to keep this team going in the postseason. With 2 starting staffs like these two teams employ, the spotlight will be on the bullpens to keep the boats afloat
Joe Borowski: needs to have a better series than he did against New York. A closer with an ERA of 4.50 (in the ALDS & 5.07 in the regular season) will get eaten alive in the playoffs!
C/1B Victor Martinez: will primarily stay behind the plate & is one of the best hitting catchers in the game. He hit .301 with 25 HR’s 114 RBI’s & 40 doubles and a .374 OBP. They’ll need him to keep up those production numbers in order to succeed this postseason
SS Jhonny Peralta: hit 21 HR’s on the year while hitting .270 with a .341 OBP & look for him to keep up the production
CF Grady Sizemore: hit 24 HR’s with a .277 average while stealing 33 bases. He can cause havoc on the base paths & throw pitchers off their game
DH Travis Hafner: hit only .266 with 24 HR’s (low by his standards) with 100 RBI’s; but struckout more times than he walked: 115 to 102. He needs to be the Travis Hafner of old in order to win it all!
Honorable mention: The Indians as a team had only 3 players who hit under .250 & only 4 hit under .375 in the ALDS!