But first, a quick rundown of the LCS predictions I made and how they turned out.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
New York Yankees vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
My prediction: Yankees in 7 games.
Reality: Yankees in 6 games.
I really wanted to be wrong about this, and believe that the Angels were going to continue to win in the same fashion they did against Boston. Except in Game 1 of the ALCS, the Angels made unimaginable errors such as Erick Aybar and Chone Figgins admiring a Hideki Matsui infield pop-up, but not bothering to catch it. Or Torii Hunter misplaying a base hit in centerfield and the ball getting away from him. It was like watching the Mets.
The Angels should have won Game 2, but Angels closer Brian Fuentes couldn't protect the 3-2 lead in the 9th when he served up an 0-2 fastball to Alex Rodriguez that should've been up and away, but was over the plate enough for A-Rod to hit it over the fence past a jumping Bobby Abreu. That game was won by the Yankees in the 13th inning by a final score of 4-3 when the Angels infield made more errors, blowing the game.
That was the key game in the series, because the Angels had to escape New York with a split, and could not. They won a thrilling Game 3 in Anaheim, got destroyed in Game 4, and won another thrilling game to send the series back to the Bronx before crumbling at the hands of Andy Pettite, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera in Game 6.
The Yankees don't lose at home. More on that in a bit...
NATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
My prediction: Philadelphia in 6 games.
Reality: Philadelphia in 5 games.
Like with the ALCS, I predicted the right team, but one less game needed to win. At least my LCS predictions were far more accurate than the LDS ones. Yikes.
An interesting series highlighted by a Game 2 pitching duel between Pedro Martinez and Vicente Padilla in which Pedro pitched 7 shutout innings on 2 hits, and Padilla pitched 7.1 IP giving up only a Ryan Howard home run. But that game was ultimately lost by the Philadelphia bullpen. It was also the only game in the series that the Dodgers won. Once the series shifted to Citizens Bank Park, the Phillies crushed the Dodgers in Game 3 by a 11-0 final. THey mounted a miraculous comeback in Game 4 off Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton when Jimmy Rollins hit a 2-out 2-run double to win the game in dramatic walkoff fashion. And in Game 5, the domination of the Dodgers continued when the Phillies trounced them by a 10-4 final.
The Phillies' offense was firing on all cylinders at home, and they only lost one home game in the postseason, which was to Colorado.
New York Yankees vs. Philadelphia Phillies
So here we are. Two high-powered offenses, two ace pitchers in CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee, two dominant closers who haven't blown a save in the postseason.
The media likes to break these matchups down by position, and starting pitcher vs. starting pitcher and so forth. Let's face it. The two teams are extremely evenly matched, which should make for a superb World Series.
To me, this series is going to be about home field advantage. There hasn't been a World Series that went more than 5 games since the 2003 version when the Marlins beat the Yankees in 6, and despite the All-Star game continually giving the American League home field advantage since the AL keeps winning, that hasn't mattered too much either.
This year, I think it's all about that. The Yankees do not lose at home in the postseason, and went 57-24 in their ballpark during the regular season. The Phillies DO lose in their own ballpark at times, which I think is going to be the ultimate difference maker here.
If the Phillies can somehow win a game at Yankee Stadium, then they may have a chance of winning. But I simply don't see them winning there in the postseason. As with all of my Yankee predictions, I hope I am wrong, but...
My prediction: New York Yankees in 6 games.