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World Series matchup: Siano's picks

World Series matchup: Siano's picks

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As the World Series approaches, MLB.com is asking experts to chime in on who has the edge at particular matchups. Players are ranked on a scale of 1-100, factoring in various statistical analyses, experience, recent performance and moxie.

Since both team's will determine their pitching rotations over the course of the series, all potential starting options are considered.

Additionally, in games at Yankee Stadium, Ben Francisco will play left field for the Phillies, with Raul Ibanez shifting to DH. Since the games Francisco will be starting will be the same ones that will be started by regular Yankees DH Hideki Matsui, that's the matchup here: Francisco vs. Matsui.

With that criteria in mind, here's what MLB.com's Mike Siano had to say ...

Position by Position Ratings and Analysis
Position Team Players Ratings Analysis
C PHI
NYY
Carlos Ruiz
Jorge Posada
75
78
Ruiz has been money this October and Posada has looked old, but Posada's ability to switch hit and hit for power gives him the edge even though he may be a pinch hitter again when Burnett starts.
1B PHI
NYY
Ryan Howard
Mark Teixeira
88
92
Howard is the key to this series. If he stays hot he can put more postseason hardware on the shelf if he cools off the Yankees job gets easier. Teixeira is showing signs of life and can hit with Howard but has the far superior glove at 1B.
2B PHI
NYY
Chase Utley
Robinson Cano
87
83
Utley could have a bigger edge if he didn't have such a terrible LCS. He could be a handful for the Yankees if he wakes up. Cano has been solid with the glove and can be a difference maker in bottom third of lineup, but except for the triple in game his at bats have been forgetable. His defense has been strong.
SS PHI
NYY
Jimmy Rollins
Derek Jeter
81
93
Take away the walk off and you start wondering if that really is Jimmy Rollins out there. It amazes me how not even close this comparison is and Rollins is only two years removed from an MVP. Jeter isn't the most talented player on the field but he continues to look like the best. He defines right place right time on the diamond and in the batters box.
3B PHI
NYY
Pedro Feliz
Alex Rodriguez
70
97
One of the biggest mismatches ever is taking place at the hot corner. There is no reason to believe A-Rod will slow down in round three and he has done it all. If both A-Rod and Howard stay hot this series will be explosive. If Feliz doesn't make any errors and hits a mistake here or there the Phillies will take it.
LF PHI
NYY
Raul Ibanez
Johnny Damon
82
82
Ibanez has a better chance to do damage in the power department but Damon can run. Both have become liabilites in the outfield and Ibanez will DH due to injury so add it all up and it's two talented players who even each other out.
CF PHI
NYY
Shane Victorino
Melky Cabrera
83
75
I think Victorino will continue to have a great postseason. He sets the tone for this team attitude wise and is the general of the outfield a great asset to Charlie Manuel. Cabrera is prone to dissapearing and having big games but he doesn't scare you at all. He needs to play solid defense and take advantage of the chances he gets to make a difference, see game 4 ALCS.
RF PHI
NYY
Jayson Werth
Nick Swisher
84
78
Werth has become a home run monster, Swisher offensively has been a nightmare but he has made some big plays in the outfield when runners have brain cramps. Werth being a power righty really help the Phils in this series and he will be on Girardi's mind all series.
DH PHI
NYY
Ben Francisco
Hideki Matsui
68
73
Francisco is a defensive replacement getting some burn and should be a spot in the lineup the Yankees look forward to. Matsui is a huge wild card. He has looked brutal when not drawing a walk, but he now has some time off and this season when coming back off some rest he has gone off with the bat unfortunately he'll be a picnh hitter for games three thru five.
Bench Phillies
Yankees
75
80
The Phillies feature Matt Stairs, Eric Bruntlett and Gregg Dobbs, the Yankees Eric Hinske, Brett Gardner and Jerry Hairston. I like the Yankees versatility and think Hinske is a poor man's Stairs so that give them the edge.
Starter PHI


NYY
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Pedro Martinez
J.A. Happ
Joe Blanton

CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Chad Gaudin
93
85
85
80
75

95
87
90
70
Yankees to me have a big edge over the Phillies here. After Lee the dropoff could be fatal where the Yankees from Sabtahia to Burnett/Pettitte isn't as dramatic. It will be a race to get into the bullpens on games not started by a former Indian and the Yankees should win that battle.
Closer PHI
NYY
Brad Lidge
Mariano Rivera
85
98
I've been impressed with Lidge so far and it's a great story but you have to think the Yankees will change that at least once and then what? Rivera has been ridiculous and will pitch as many innings as Girardi can cook up for him. If he can stay Mo this series is his.
Setup Phillies
Yankees
80
85
The Yankees have the depth and the talent over the Phillies but are volatile right now. How will David Robertson look? What's the latest on Phil Hughes? Can Joba build off game 6? Will Coke and Marte be effective because they will be vital. The advantage if any that the Phillies have is that these guys know their roles going in.
Manager PHI
NYY
Charlie Manuel
Joe Girardi
90
80
Two completely different styles that will shape this series as far as the media and fans go. Manuel is the country boy who rolls the ball out and let's his coaches help him think vs. the uber micromanager who can lose this series by the way he handles his bullpen. The country will scratch thier head in unison on any given night if Girardi continues to overthink.
Projected Winning Team
Winning team Games Analysis
Yankees Six In spite of their manager the Yankees edge in starting pitching is the difference and the decision by Manuel to start Pedro in game 2 comes back to haunt him. A-Rod win the MVP but there will be some nights where you will think you are watching beer league softball.
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