Which two teams will play in the World Series?
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Writers from around the Tribune Co. look ahead to the postseason in Major League Baseball. Check back throughout the day for more responses and join the discussion by voting in the polls and leaving a comment of your own.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Normally I don’t break out The System until late September, but there’s nothing wrong with taking it for a test spin. The formula that picked the Giants to win a year ago lines up with conventional wisdom this time around. Make it Phillies over Yankees in a very tight World Series.
The Phillies are an easy choice to win the NL (over the Braves in the LCS), but the AL isn’t so clear cut. I give the (right now) wild-card Yankees a slight edge over the Red Sox because their pitching staff is a tick deeper, even if Joe Girardi doesn’t know who he pitches behind CC Sabathia.
Boston’s rotation has a 4.12 ERA, highest among the eight teams in line to make the playoffs, and among playoff teams only Atlanta is allowing more second-half runs. Those could be fatal flaws if not corrected.
Jeff Schuler, Allentown Morning Call
Before the season, many speculated that the Phillies and Red Sox would make it a Red October (November?). Has anything happened to change that point of view?
The Phillies have shrugged off the early season absence of Chase Utley, the failure to adequately replace outfielder Jayson Werth and Roy Oswalt’s back problems to run off to the best record in baseball. Now, Utley has resumed his all-star form, General Manager Ruben Amaro Jr. pulled another rabbit out of the trade-deadline hat to get Hunter Pence, and Oswalt has returned to baseball’s best rotation.
Remember when the Red Sox were 2-10 and panic set in amid Red Sox Nation? Well, they’ve used baseball’s most intimidating lineup to go 69-33 since then (that’s a 109-win pace over 162 games). They’re still in their usual dogfight with the Yankees, but the Red Sox will get to the Series -- and find the Phillies waiting.
[Updated at 10:47 a.m.:
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
All those sure-fire predictions of spring training are usually forgotten long before August. Injuries and other surprises render them obsolete. Not this year. A Red Sox-Phillies World Series matchup is very much in play.
So if you ask me on Aug. 9 who will be the champions, I’d say the Phillies, with the best record, are still as good a bet as the day they trotted out their rotation for a news conference in Clearwater, Fla., in February. They have the best pitching, it is healthy, or getting there, and they have an AL-caliber lineup.
The Phillies have passed every test so far, running and hiding from a competitive NL East, winning their series against Boston and San Francisco, and getting better as the season has worn on. Let’s put it simply: More than two-thirds into the season, the Phillies have given little reason to pick someone else.]