World Series matchup: Spencer's picks

World Series matchup: Spencer's picks

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 Lyle Spencer had to say ...

Position by Position Ratings and Analysis
Position Team Players Ratings Analysis
C PHI
NYY
Carlos Ruiz
Jorge Posada
70
80
Ruiz has a nice presence behind the plate, but Posada's experience is the difference here. His pitchers trust him, with good reason. Offensively, Posada is more dangerous.
1B PHI
NYY
Ryan Howard
Mark Teixeira
95
97
Teixeira is the super defender -- maybe the best in the game at the position -- and he's due to explode. Howard is the guy you have to pitch around, like A-Rod.
2B PHI
NYY
Chase Utley
Robinson Cano
90
85
Cano has the ability to be a star, but Utley is already there.
SS PHI
NYY
Jimmy Rollins
Derek Jeter
90
92
Jeter's incredible composure and leadership give him the slight nod.
3B PHI
NYY
Pedro Feliz
Alex Rodriguez
80
98
A-Rod is in another orbit right now, a far superior hitter even if Feliz gets a slight edge with the glove.
LF PHI
NYY
Raul Ibanez
Johnny Damon
90
85
Ibanez has always been clutch, and now he has the stage to show it. You can run on both guys.
CF PHI
NYY
Shane Victorino
Melky Cabrera
85
82
Victorino's versatility and confidence give him a slight edge overall. Both have surprising pop.
RF PHI
NYY
Jayson Werth
Nick Swisher
90
75
Werth's confidence level keeps rising, and Swisher is coming off a bad series, looking a little clueless at the plate.
DH PHI
NYY
Ben Francisco
Hideki Matsui
75
85
Matsui is clearly a tougher out, but Francisco could be one of those guys who rises to the occasion under the spotlight.
Bench Phillies
Yankees
80
75
The edge goes to the Phillies simply because NL teams use their benches more and keep them more in tune.
Starters PHI


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

CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Chad Gaudin
95
80
90
80
75

95
85
85
70
Sabathia is pitching like a man on a mission. Pedro is the wild card here. I see him coming up big in this series, one of the great pressure pitchers ever.
Closer PHI
NYY
Brad Lidge
Mariano Rivera
80
99
Rivera has no equal. He might be the best ever in terms of how superior he is in his role. He's the closest thing to perfection, while Lidge is having one of those 'Who knows?' seasons.
Setup Phillies
Yankees
85
75
The Yankees don't have a lot of confidence in their young setup guys now, and the Phillies look a little deeper here.
Manager PHI
NYY
Charlie Manuel
Joe Girardi
90
85
Manuel is calmer, and his players respond to him, while Girardi sometimes manages like he's trying too hard to impress -- especially in his bullpen decisions.
Projected Winning Team
Winning team Games Analysis
Yankees Seven The Phillies are proud champions, but the Yankees have that look of destiny's darlings -- and the home-field advantage, which is huge in this World Series given how both clubs are built for their yards.