Pete’s Preview and Prediction of the NLCS

Let me start off by saying that according to the numbers, this should be an exciting series and a sweep would be extremely disappointing. I expect this to go 6 or 7 games!

I think that the top 6 hitters in each line up are just about equal with each other except for the Phillies reliance on the long ball.

Phillies Line up AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
SS-S Jimmy Rollins .277/.349/.437 43.4
RF-R Jayson Werth .273/.363/.498 30.4
2B-L Chase Utley .292/.380/.535 62.3
1B-L Ryan Howard .251/.339/.543 35.2
LF-R Pat Burrell .250/.367/.507 33.4
CF-S Shane Victorino .293/.352/.447 33.4
3B-R Pedro Feliz .249/.302/.402 0.1
C-R Carlos Ruiz .219/.320/.300 -7
Dodgers Line up AVG/ OBP/ SLG VORP
SS-S Rafael Furcal .357/.439/.573 24.5
C-R Russell Martin .280/.385/.396 33.6
LF-R Manny Ramirez .332/.430/.601 83.5
RF-L Andre Ethier .305/.375/.510 39.7
1B-L James Loney .289/.338/.434 16.9
CF-R Matt Kemp .290/.340/.459 31.5
2B-L Blake DeWitt .264/.344/.383 9.5 @ 2B
3B-R Casey Blake .274/.345/.463 27

I’d give the Dodgers bench the advantage with Nomar (it’s easier to spell) and Kent over Dobbs and anyone else on the Phillies bench.

I like the Dodgers rotation better than the Phillies if LA goes with the veteran Greg Maddux over the young lefty Clayton Kershaw. Adding Kershaw to the bullpen ala Boston‘s rookie starter Justin Masterson, would bolster an already good Dodger bullpen, which I also award the edge to the Dodgers because of their low ERA. The highest ERA (outside of Kershaw or Maddux) of anyone in their bullpen is Chan Ho Park at 3.40

The closer position is a clear advantage for the Phillies with NL comeback player of the year Brad Lidge over either Broxton or Saito (if healthy).

Phillies Starters IP ERA   Phillies Bullpen IP ERA
LHP Cole Hamels 227.1 3.09   RHP Brad Lidge 69.1 1.95
RHP Brett Myers 190 4.55   RHP Ryan Madson 82.2 3.05
LHP Jamie Moyer 196.1 3.71   LHP J.C. Romero 59 2.75
RHP Joe Blanton 197.2 4.69   RHP Chad Durbin 87.2 2.87
          LHP Scott Eyre 25.1 4.21
          LHP James Happ 31.2 3.69
          RHP Clay Condrey 69 3.26
Dodgers Starters IP ERA   Dodgers Bullpen IP ERA
RHP Derek Lowe 211 3.22   RHP Jonathan Broxton 69 3.13
RHP Chad Billingsley 200.2 3.14   RHP Takashi Saito 47 2.49
RHP Hiroki Kuroda 183.1 3.73   LHP Joe Beimel 49 2.02
LHP Clayton Kershaw 107.2 4.26   RHP Cory Wade 71.1 2.27
or         RHP Chan Ho Park 95.1 3.4
RHP Greg Maddux 194 4.22   LHP Hong-Chih Kuo 80 2.14

The keys to this series are how well the Phillies middle of the order of Utley, Howard and Burrell hits and if Manny Ramirez can keep up his dominance in the playoffs. On the mound, the Phillies need Brett Myers to pitch like he’s been pitching and not like the way he was when he got sent down to the minors. Likewise, both Moyer and Maddux (if he starts) need to NOT act their age in order for their team to win games three and four respectively.

I’ll have to go with the firepower of the Phillies overpowering the Dodgers and advancing to the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

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