Predictions and Projections

World Series Prediction Thread

It's possible that someone in the YFSF community–moderators and commenters–had the Yankees and Phillies as the World Series match-up when we made our predictions at the beginning of the season. Possible, but not likely. If my memory is correct, a few of us in April had an inordinate respect for the New York Mets and Arizona Diamondbacks. During that cruel month, there might have been a couple among us who speculated that CC Sabathia wasn't made for the post-season. And, of course, there was the previously reliable (if you ignored certain statistics and sample size caveats) prediction that A-Rod would stink up the joint when the calendar turned to October. I remember making fun of the Tigers for their choice of Edwin Jackson as a number two starter. Turns out, he was a legit #2. And I think there was a vocal minority that felt John Smoltz would be the key to a great fall and post-season run for the Sox.

The point is that we're human and we're not designed to learn from our mistakes. So let's do it again!

Here goes:

Yanks in 6.

Why: Let's play the match-up game: 

C: Posada vs. Ruiz

Case closed. Big advantage goes to Posada who is significantly the better bat.

1b: Teixeira vs. Howard

Okay, so generally speaking, I'd go with Teixeira over Howard. The big lefty is hell on righties and becomes mediocre against lefties. Teixeira is very good no matter the handedness of the opponent. The Yanks' top 2 pitchers are lefties. Additionally they have Coke and Marte for late inning spot situations. So the Yanks seem especially well-equipped to contain the NLCS MVP. But that's the problem. Ryan Howard was the NLCS MVP and he is on fire. Mark Teixeira is not. He's very cold. Does that mean he's due? I hope so. Still, I'll call this even considering their recent performances.

2b: Cano vs. Utley

Cano flashed brilliant leather in the clinching game of the ALCS. His bat seemed to be waking up. And he's a very valuable and exciting young player. Chase Utley, on the other hand, is the best position player on the Philadelphia roster and is the best 2b in baseball. Advantage goes to Utley.

3b: A-Rod vs. Pedro Feliz

Yeah, so you were wrong about him. Own up to it.

SS: Jeter vs. Rollins

Jimmy Rollins' OBP was less than .300. Derek Jeter's was almost .400. Ergo, this is not close.

RF: Swisher vs. Werth

Grumble. Werth has become a very good player with the Phils. Swisher had a solid season, putting up similar numbers as his counterpart. And then the post-season came. Werth is doing well. Swisher…not so much. I'll give Werth the advantage based on the flawed idea that one player is on a good streak and the other is making me long for Terrence Long.

CF: Melky vs. Victorino

One of my favorite moments of the ALCS was Melky's hands celebration at second after Kazmir had managed to toss the ball 5 yards over Kendrick's outstretched glove at first. Melky's sac bunt turns into a double, sort of, and why not celebrate? Yeah, he ended up on second through no act of his own, but you might as well take ownership of good fortune. If I were on the Yankees, I would be Melky–the one player in the line-up who is not close to flirting with the idea of stardom. He's worked hard and has become a solid major leaguer, and I hope this isn't perceived as a knock on the guy, but he's sort of along for the ride. The great thing is he's embracing every second of it. He's lucky and he knows it. His celebration was his counting his lucky stars out loud.

Victorino is better.

LF: Raul Ibanez looks like the guy from Rage Against The Machine and is from New York City. I like the guy from Rage because he got to play with Bruce Springsteen at the Superbowl and he acted how I would: extremely psyched that he was on stage with Bruuuuuuce. And the New York thing is cool. Still, after an amazing beginning to the season, Ibanez was awful. Johnny Damon got the message after I suggested benching him and he's looking good. I'll go with Damon.

DH: Hideki vs. Raul Ibanez

So at the Stadium, Raul becomes DH and Ben Francisco becomes LF. Damon is better than Francisco and Ibanez and Hideki are very close. The match-up is a win for the Yanks.


This is a close call. CC and Cliff have been the two best pitchers in the post-season. They were great during the regular season. I'll give the advantage to CC because he's been doing this longer. Pettitte and Hamels are another interesting pairing. If this were last year, Hamels would be the winner. But, a new season has brought a much less consistent Hamels and an Andy Pettitte who is willing his way to a 5th title. I'll go even here, but Pettitte might have the slight win. Then there is Burnett vs. Pedro. Totally weird and totally not going to go there. Who knows?

Relievers: Relief was a weakness for the Phils and supposedly a strength for the Yank during the regular season. The post-season has flipped that reality on its head. Let's call this a win for the Yanks because of the larger sample size of reality. But that means Hughes and Joba have to get their acts together!

Okay, some how these match-ups lead to a Yanks' victory in 6. This is a good match-up but I think the Yanks have the advantage in most parts of the game. How about you?

31 replies on “World Series Prediction Thread”

I can’t believe Manuel is not going with the two lefties at Yankee Stadium.
Keith Law says Joe Girardi is something like the worst manager he’s ever seen in the postseason. Is he not seeing the choices Mike Scioscia or Charlie Manuel make? Much more mind-boggling than the in-game decisions of Joey Three-Rings.

Yanks in 6.
Keith Law is a joke if he believes that Girardi is a bad manager. Im personally sick of this meme at this point. To me, there was only one move that I questioned of his from the ALCS and that was pulling Robertson for Aceves. The other moves were all fine by me and would have been second guessed the other way had the result of the game been different. For example, would those who complained about A-Rod being lifted for a pinch runner been defending him if A-Rod had been tossed at the plate by half a step had there been a double in the gap? We will never know but I highly doubt it as there have been so many in the press that are pushing this story.
I think Girardi out-managed the mighty Scioscia and will do the same vs the “go with the gut” Manuel. I just hope the stories give him his due credit not continue with the yanks have won despite their manager BS we’ve been hearing.

Keith Law just likes to be edgy. He’s a smart guy, and an otherwise good reporter, but the ironic thing is that he does the exact thing he blames Girardi of doing – he doesn’t know what he already has, so he has to go out of his way to make sure people know how smart he is.
Someone needs to hog-tie Keith Law to a pole so he can’t write ridiculous articles.

Great job Nick – thanks for this.
Two critical components to add I think are:
1. the closers – quite apart from the bullpen generally. I have been impressed with how Manuel has managed Lidge back to effectiveness just in the nick of time. But I still feel good about the Yankee line-up facing him late in games and great about Mo facing anyone. I’m hoping to see Mo saw off Howard’s bat in a critical spot like he did to Mauer in the clinching ALDS game.
2. the managers. I am not a crazed anti-Girardi man. I posted a very complimentary piece on the job he had done during the regular season (with the exception of his/Cashman’s apparent handling of Joba and his inexcusable playing of A-Rod without rest for too long after hip surgery). Nevertheless, I do think that several of his moves really have felt to me like a manager over-thinking, over-managing, and frankly seeming a bit nervous as a result (pulling an effective Robertson for Aceves with no one on and 2 outs only to give up runs; pulling Hughes for Mariano an inning early before Hughes had given Joe any reason to doubt him; pinch-running with both Guzman and Gardner but then never sending either runner; bunting with Swisher – and if you were going to bunt in the 8th, then why not with Gardner who puts more pressure on the fielders and is going to sub for defense anyway, etc, etc.
I raise these points not to beat the guy up, but only to say that as the tension ratchets up even more now that the Yankees are only 4 wins away, I hope Girardi can calm down a little.
I also have to admit to being a little nervous that much of the late-inning action in this series will probably rest on the shoulders of Phil Coke and Damaso Marte…especially Marte, who has been alternatingly great and awful. And now we’ve got Bruney back on the active roster – not sure what to make of that but he had a very rough late-season.
But all in all, this is just a great match-up. Certainly not one of those years when you can say that the ALCS or the NLCS was the “true” world series.
Prediction: Yanks in 6

To some extent, I give respect to Phils, but the ALCS was between the 103 wins team against a 97 wins team, in a much more difficult league.
It’s a short series though, so..

good calls, IH. I completely forgot the managers and definitely should have separated out Mariano vs. Lidge.
I agree with IH’s assessment of Girardi’s work this post-season. I think he’s been overmanaging and making some headscratching decisions. My biggest gripe has been the way he used the roster given to him during the ALCS. It didn’t seem as if he thought out some of his decisions, specifically with his use of Gardner/Guzman and the LOOGYs, in a way that would maximize roster flexibility. And I disagree with Sam. I think the A-Rod pinchrunning decision is pretty indefensible given the minimal (I’ll even add “insignificant”) difference in the chances of scoring Guzman added over A-Rod. I know that if Guzman had magically scored and tied the game, the Angels would have been decent favorites to win in extra innings given the squad the Yanks would have had out there.
That said, Keith Law is engaging in hyperbole if he in fact said Girardi was doing the worst job of any manager ever.

First of all, I really like K-Law, but he is prone to this kind of hyperbole at times. Second, I do think Girardi has been a good manager the past two seasons – I think he’s done a ton of great things since coming over, so keep that in mind while I get into this next part.
But, being totally honest here, he made some awful, awful, AWFUL moves in the ALCS. Totally bewildering and inexcusable moves. Pinch running for A-Rod in a game that you’re HOPING to send to extras? Losing the DH spot for a *marginal* ARM upgrade in the outfield? And my personal favorite: taking Mariano out of a tie game to pinch hit. With Francisco Cervelli….with 2 outs. And nobody on! Nobody on base, 2 outs, and Francisco Cervelli due up. And you trade MARIANO FREAKING RIVERA in a TIE GAME to get to that situation???!! Those all border on absolute madness. King George the Third level madness.
On top of that, he’s failed to recognize that Nate Robertson is the second-best reliever on the team right now. And he replaced a valuable pinch hitter on the postseason roster (Hinske) so he could have a THIRD pinch running option (in addition to Gardner and Hairston). Seriously, Joe? I would love to hear the logic behind that one.
I like how he lined up the starting rotation, but that’s about it. He had an absolutely effin’ terrible ALCS – and there’s no even debating it. We win in 5 games MAX without his blunders.
What’s even more amazing though is that it IS debatable whether or not he’s been the worst manager this postseason, thanks to the misadventures of Joe Torre and Mike Scioscia. And now it looks like Charlie Manuel also might want a seat at this table. We’ll see.

Uh uh…
Not going to happen…
Not with a 10 foot pole…
My fellow YF’s seem to want to jinx us…CUT IT OUT BOYS!!!
I am stoked and ready to rock but forget predictions. Sorry.
p.s. please ignore my pre-postseason prediction! ;)

So I started out my prediction process by taking a look at the three-game regular season series between the Phils and Yanks:
On the face of it, this (small) sample would seem like a decent yardstick and should provide some hope to Philly fans, in that they took 2 of 3 on the road, facing Burnett, Pettitte and Sabathia.
However, two of the three games were late- or extra-inning affaires which could have gone either way. Plus these games occurred during the Yankees’ spring slump. Moreover, in none of these three games did New York get a chance to thump Pedro Martinez…
My gut is torn in two opposite directions: Either it’s a long, close, seven-game series (in which case I pick the Phils) or it’s a brutish, nasty and short romp by the New York All Stars in four or five.
Rationale: Either these teams are as well-matched as they look on paper and as they were in Interleague Play in May, or their seeming equivalence is a mirage created by the A.L./N.L. disparity.
How’s that for equivocation? The only safe outcomes to bet against are Phillies 4-0 or 4-1, IMHO. Most everything points to a Yankee championship. (And to think all that got typed without mentioning payroll, steroids, or Girardi’s managing…)

Hinske and Bruney. What the hey? I get Hinske, but they didn’t really need Bruney – Joe G just need to use Robertson more!
I would’ve kept Guzman only because of the pinch running possibilities in game 3-5.

The Yankees’ streak of owning every decade but the 80’s since the 1920s is at stake. Clearly, in the interest of tradition, the Yankees must win it all this year.

The Reds are also in there in the 70’s.
As for the Aughts, I’d say the Yanks already have it wrapped up. They lead everyone in overall wins (by forty games over BOS), playoff appearances, division titles, playoff wins, playoff series wins, and pennants. At worst, they will finish one WS trophy behind BOS and PHI, but the fact that they lead all other categories makes then team of the decade anyway. The Phillies shouldn’t even really be in the conversation – they’ve had like 3 or 4 totally abysmal years this decade. If they win this one, I’d put them third or possibly forth behind Yanks, Sox, and Cardinals in that order.

At worst, they will finish one WS trophy behind BOS and PHI
This is true if they win this year or next year, but not both. The only way they can catch the Sox is to win in 2009 and 2010. The Yankees have not won any WS championships this decade, which began in 2001. This year would/will (there’s my prediction!) be their first this decade.
I do not care for these kinds of discussions, personally. I find their subtextual intent is to demean the accomplishments of others, and to belittle other teams or their fans (i.e “you root for a lesser squad, ha!”). The Patriots were the team of the decade until they weren’t and the Steelers were. I don’t really care. Circumstances change, things are dynamic/organic. Why can’t we just celebrate greatness and leave it at that? Why do we have to burden the Sox with a grossly generalized label, or the Yanks for that matter, when their rosters have changed and the league has changed around them? And what makes “greatness”, and by what qualifiers is that measured? Payroll? PED use? How does one create a fair measurement for this?
I find these types of debates to be little more then self-promotion, to boost our self-esteem as fans, the product of insecurity, basically. We have our great team, you have yours, we all know the overall history.

My World Series Prediction:
The Yankees win.
New York celebrates.
The Earth stops rotating on its axis.
A tear in the space-time continuum opens swallowing up the Steinbrenner family and their massive egos.
Disorder is restored in the universe.

Realistically, the Red Sox are the “team of the decade.” 2004 was just too momentous not to overshadow most everything else. Whether it’s fair or not, I think the Yankees of the 00s will be remembered largely as a team that was good, but not quite good enough to match the teams of the late 90s.
Like SF said, though, this is all kind of silly to talk about. Especially because not every sport has a Team Of The Decade. Who was the NFL Team Of The Decade for the 80s? The 49ers and Redskins both won 3 Super Bowls, but the ’86 Bears are arguably the most memorable team from that decade. There’s not always a single team that dominates over everything like Jordan and the 90s Bulls.
So I’m not sure there’s one team the “defines” the 00s in baseball. But I think the 2004 Red Sox are the most memorable team this decade, and I think Boston has been dominating enough since then that it’s the closest to Team Of The Decade that we’ll get.

“The Yankees have not won any WS championships this decade, which began in 2001. This year would/will (there’s my prediction!) be their first this decade.”
Come on SF, you know better than this. I understand the literal “decade” thing but in sports it’s the 70’s = 70-79, 80’s = 80-89, etc.
My bad…I thought it was relevant since the Sox and Yankees were basically the Top Dogs.
You cannot bring me down today SF…LET’S GO YANKEES!!!

how could anyone possibly say that the 90’s ended with the year 2000?
any case, I prefer to think that the last dynasty won their last title in 2000 and the new dynasty will begin in 2009! from one decade to the next, it’s the same story.

I’m going with oneof the most reliable predictors over time, the Ex-Cub factor:
Now, I’m sorry to cite wikipedia, but it’s a good explanation. Here’s a Mike Royko column further explaining the XCF:
The Phillies have Eyre, Bako, bench coach Pete Mackanin, 1st base coach Davey Lopes. The Yanks have Girardi (that’s a biggie), Gaudin (briefly), Hinske (minors), Molina, Hairston, and coaches Kelleher and Harkey (the Cubs 1st-round draft pick in 1987).
So clearly, the very reliable Ex-Cub Factor favors one particular team.
AND … not to be ignored is the fact that Mike Harkey and Yanks pitching coach Dave Eiland have the indignity of being interviewed by ME when they were in the minors.

seriously though,
i don’t know when life started for you bill, but my life started on my actual first birthday…i was born that morning, and i was 0.x years old, that is, less than 1 year old, until exactly 1 year later, then i was 1 full year old, on the date that was technically the first anniversary of my real birthday…up until that first anniversary i was in the first year of my life, but i wasn’t 1 year old yet…was i in my 20’s until i turned 30, or was i still in my 20’s?…
so dabize, you ascribe to the theory that the decade of, for example, the 80’s included 1990?…in theory, i suppose you’d be correct based on the gregorian calendar, which arbitrarily pretends that a year 0 doesn’t exist, primarily because in 6th century europe the concept of ‘0’ didn’t exist [i.e. there’s no ‘0’ in roman numerals] [, but don’t tell the astronomers, the Buddhists, the Hindus, and the authors of ISO 8601 that ‘0’ doesn’t exist…
actually a ‘decade’ is ANY group or set of 10 anythings, such as a period of 10 years, so i can start it and stop it anytime i want, so long as it includes no more or less than 10 years []…nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah… ;)

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