MLB Division Round Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Cincinnati Reds
PHILADELPHIA VS. CINCINNATI
As I have stated throughout the past few months since the Phils acquired Oswalt they are the team to beat and should be favored to win the World Series.
Click on the two following links that explain why:
That being said I have a ton of respect for the Reds and don’t believe it will be a cakewalk to get by them. But, ultimately at the end of the day the biggest difference in the series will come on the mound. Cincy has the worst ERA out of all eight teams in the post season, the only team in the NL with an ERA over 4.
Their starting rotation doesn’t come close to the three aces the Phils will roll out with Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels. The only 1-2-3 combo to all have sub 3 ERA seasons.
For the Reds Volquez, Arroyo, Cueto & Leake have looked good at times this year they don’t have the consistency to be in the same class. Only Volquez has lethal stuff and could possibly be a dominating starter.
Factor in they have to go up against the deepest hitting line up in the NL with the power of Howard, Utley, Werth & Ibanez + the speed, average and grittiness of Rollins, Polanco & Victorino and they will expose those pitchers for what they are which is AVERAGE.
Even though the Reds averaged slightly more runs per game sitting 4th in the MLB and #1 in the NL they don’t have a better line up than Philadelphia. Keep in mind the Phils had all of their key hitters on the self at some point during the regular season. Since they have all been back in the line up over the past few months the offense has been the best in the majors.
The biggest difference is that Cincinnati’s only legitimate threat is Joey Votto. Only four other players had 70+ RBI’s and none hit higher than .284. Veterans Gomes & Rolen had big time resurgent seasons. And young talents Bruce & Stubbs started to live up to expectations having break out seasons + the always reliable and solid all star 2nd baseman Brandon Phillips.
In order for them to have any chance against the Phils they will need all of those hitters to maintain if not even improve on the offensive outburst we saw during the regular season. Something I don’t see happening against the Phillies starters in a short game series where they will probably be able to get away with a three man rotation.
The pen is pretty much even. Reds closer Cordero has been inconsistent all year long. Don’t be mislead by his total of 40 saves his 3.84 ERA & 1.43 WHIP shows a lack of consistency, so if the Reds get a lead late into the game it will never be safe against the clutch hitting of the Phillies.
Lidge is back on track and appears to have gotten rid of his control problems putting up an ERA under 3 this year. But, we know he could break down at anytime, for now I would take him over Cordero. Plus, they have some additional reliable arms like Madson (great set up man), Contreras no longer starting, Durbin & Romero have also been solid.
Just like the Phillies the Reds do have multiple options out of the pen including the phenomn arm of Chapman along with Arthur Rhodes & Nick Masset who’ve been solid all year long. Plus, they will be able to put some of their starters in the pen when the rotation is shortened like possibly Leake, Bailey & Harang a luxury the Phillies don’t have due to a bad back end of the starting rotation.
The Phillies realize this is there time with the current starting rotation and offense still in tact. I can’t see the Reds beating any of their starters especially on the road. None of their players have played in a big spot like this either.
Final Outcome: Cincy lucky to win a game, Phils in 3.