After four interminable days, the American League Championship Series begins tonight, with the best matchup yet in the 2007 playoffs — Josh Beckett vs. C.C. Sabathia, the two pitchers who undoubtedly will finish 1-2 in the Cy Young voting (though don’t ask us to prognosticate which order).
Both are 27 years old, and both seemingly have no ceiling. Each received a B+ on his respective Inside Edge scouting report (Beckett’s is here, but Sabathia’s has turned into a report card of his performance against the Yankees since I saw it yesterday). Beckett is better at getting two strikes on hitters and pounding the zone, but Sabathia has better control of his off-speed stuff. It’s no stretch to imagine these two clashing many times over the next few seasons as the dominant pitchers in their league.
The battle begins tonight. Use this for any and all pregame buzz you care to discuss.