The 2008 playoffs resume tonight as game one of the NLCS is played in the City of Brotherly Love.
Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers take on the Phillies; thus, for me, although I am a fan of the Orioles, the NL style of baseball appeals to me a lot more. That being said, I am very interested to see how this series turns out.
Both teams match up well with their lineups, as well as their pitching staffs although I think Philadelphia might have a slight edge with their bullpen (because of Brad Lidge). I think the starters for the first three games are suitable, there’s a significant drop-off from there with their starting rotations for both teams.
That’s why I see things so even matched up.
Right now, I am picking the Dodgers in seven games for the upset.
I think the Dodgers have been greatly underestimated, and obviously Manny in that lineup makes the difference; however, I think Joe Torre has also been a calming influence on this team as well by virtue of his experience dealing in New York.
Again, there’s the Manny factor. They look and play like a different team from the one we saw from April to the end of July. If the Dodgers go down 2-0 when they return to California, I think they are as good as done. I don’t think the Phillies can stop Manny based on how well he’s doing right now -- (but I think Ramirez only has a career batting average of .200 versus the Phillies) -- but shutting down the rest of the offense is ey.
However, if the Dodgers can touch up on Cole Hamels, Brett Myers and Jamie Moyer, the Phillies are in trouble. As well, if Howard and Burrell are shut down, it’s too curtains for them.
Although I think the Phillies have the superior hitting lineup, I think there’s an upset.
I would so love to see a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. Just imagine all the story lines, drama, and I'm sure MLB would be happy with the ratings as it would be a blockbuster.
While a handful of teams are still in the playoffs, teams like the Baltimore Orioles are stuck in watching it from home and face the prospect of a long, hard winter.
That being said, now is the time to sign Nick Markakis to a long term deal. I have said over and over, I have full faith in Andy MacPhail and I more or less said last year that the right fielder not being signed to a long term contract isn’t an issue — however, if it’s not done this off-season it will be.
After seeing his peers like Ryan Braun, Evan Longoria, and Troy Tulowitzki signed to healthy contracts, after the progress Markakis has shown, he deserves the same.
At this point, if they go through arbitration process, Markakis will get a huge pay day indeed; however, the longer the team waits to sign him to a deal, the higher his price will go and the greater the likelihood that he’ll bolt.
Considering the Orioles are rebuilding, and it may be a while before they start to win, now is the time to sign Nick.
Let’s avoid Pandora’s Box from opening when it does not need to be the case.
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