World Series matchup: Bodley's picks

World Series matchup: Bodley'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 Hal Bodley had to say ...

Position by Position Ratings and Analysis
Position Team Players Ratings Analysis
C PHI
NYY
Carlos Ruiz
Jorge Posada
76
78
Posada is a bigger threat at the plate, but Ruiz has a better arm and has come up big late this season with the long ball. Ruiz calls a better game.
1B PHI
NYY
Ryan Howard
Mark Teixeira
91
90
Don't underestimate Howard's defensive ability, but Teixeira's glove is obviously better. Howard can carry the Phillies in this Series, which he has done much of the postseason.
2B PHI
NYY
Chase Utley
Robinson Cano
88
80
Utley knows the game better than any Phillies player. Best at working the count and getting on base. Has been slumping lately, but is probably the best all-around player on the field for this Series.
SS PHI
NYY
Jimmy Rollins
Derek Jeter
88
94
No one does it better in important games than the Yankees captain. Rollins is the NL Gold Glove shortstop, but Jeter is better offensively. Should be one of the most interesting matchups in the Series.
3B PHI
NYY
Pedro Feliz
Alex Rodriguez
77
100
A-Rod is on a mission in this postseason. Feliz has the edge defensively and has come up with some clutch hits, but is inconsistent making contact. What A-Rod has done returning the Yankees to the World Series tells it all.
LF PHI
NYY
Raul Ibanez
Johnny Damon
85
84
Ibanez carried the Phillies during the early weeks of the season and proved his defense is better than advertised. Ibanez has more power than Damon, but the latter has more experience on the big stage.
CF PHI
NYY
Shane Victorino
Melky Cabrera
91
80
Victorino is the best defensive outfielder in the Series and has come up big offensively all season. At the top of the lineup behind Rollins, Victorino makes things happen. Cabrera was hot at the plate in the last three ALCS games.
RF PHI
NYY
Jayson Werth
Nick Swisher
90
70
Werth is having a career year, both offensively and defensively. He follows Howard in the lineup and usually gets good pitches to hit. Swisher has been struggling at the plate.
DH PHI
NYY
Ben Francisco
Hideki Matsui
69
76
Matsui is a clutch perfomer while Francisco has been used mostly as a defensive replacement for Ibanez in left field and a pinch-hitter.
Bench Phillies
Yankees
75
74
The DH in American League parks weakens limits the Phillies bench, but will put pressure on the Yankees manager when the Series shifts to the NL and pinch hitters become more important.
Starter PHI


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

CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Andy Pettitte
Chad Gaudin
92
81
84
81
76

93
87
90
69
The Lee-Sabathia match is virtually even -- after that, the Yankees have the edge with their rotation. The unknown is whether Martinez can continue his amazing comeback and if Hamels can return to the form that made him World Series MVP in 2008. And, how will Sabathia pitch with three days' rest?
Closer PHI
NYY
Brad Lidge
Mariano Rivera
80
100
No match here. Lide, who blew 11 saves during the regular season after being perfect in 2008 has been solid in the postseason. With the days off this Series it's quite likely Rivera will be used for more than one inning.
Setup Phillies
Yankees
80
75
Phillies bullpen has finally fallen into place. With starters Joe Blanton and J. A. Happ joining Chan Ho Park as setup men the Phillies are solid here. Plus, Charlie Manuel has an uncanny touch at making the right moves in key situations.
Manager PHI
NYY
Charlie Manuel
Joe Girardi
100
85
No one in uniform for this World Series knows more baseball than Charlie Manuel. Has quietly guided the Phillies to back-to-back pennants when at times they seemed to falter. Girardi lacks the experience and it has shown with his handling of the bullpen, while the Yankees' enormous talent has saved him.
Projected Winning Team
Winning team Games Analysis
Phillies Six On paper, the Yankees should win this World Series. On paper, the Los Angeles Dodgers should have won the National League pennant. The Phillies have an uncanny ability to defy the odds, to win games that seemingly are lost. Because of that and the fact they have such determination, I think they'll knock off the mighty Yankees and retain their title.