Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Even though I think the Sox are a better team than Cleveland, the club that calls the mistake by the lake its home is a slight favorite in my book. Cleveland is a bit better suited to win this best of seven series. (Yes, my odds for the A.L. pennant would have been something like 30% - MFY, 28% - CLE, 26% - Sox, 16% - LAA.)
My theory is that the team with the best shot in Oct has two power strikeout starters, a 1+ inning closer and a lineup 1-9 that can go yard. Cleveland gets the edge in two out of the three.
C.C. and Beckett are a wash but Carmona is better than Schilling or Dice-K. The Sox have the edge in the pen with Paps. The pitching is even.
Cleveland has more evenly distributed power in the starting lineup and on the bench. Lofton and Cabrera are the only starters who are not a threat to go yard; the Sox start three – Crisp, Lugo, Pedroia – and no big bats off the bench. When a club is facing the best pitchers, a hitter needs to capitalize on the few mistakes by going deep. Not knowing when those meatballs are coming, it is best to have 1-9 that can make the pitcher pay when he does serve it up. Cleveland has the edge here and a small one in the series.
With that being said, I do think the Sox can exploit some match ups giving them the opportunity for big plays (it sounds like football analysis) that can tip the scales in their favor. They will be explored on a game-by-game basis.
MFY "fans" - there is still time and room to jump ship, although you do have to hang onto the anchor with the rest of the pink hat poosers.