MLB Playoff Predictions Round 2
There have been a lot of surprises in the MLB Playoffs so far. The Cubs got swept and the Red Sox sent the Angels packing. We got the scoop on the second round!
Dodgers vs. PhilliesNo question, the talk of the baseball world has been the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last week, they shocked the Chicago Cubs by sweeping them in their opening round series. While the Dodgers have proven that they are a legit team, they will have to raise their game in the next series as they face the Philadelphia Phillies, who are stacked with superstar talent like Pat Burrell, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. As of Friday, the Phillies are winning the series 1-0 after defeating the Dodgers at home 3-2. If the Dodgers want to have a chance to win the series, they must steal a game on the road. The two teams split the season series at four games a piece and neither team won away from their home field. That is good news for the Phillies who have home field advantage.
L.A. must improve their pitching and get more out of pitchers like Derek Lowe, who gave up six hits and three runs in five innings on Game One. Their bullpen must also find a way to slow down Philly's big hitters. On the other hand, Philly has to be worries about Manny Ramirez aka "Man-Ram" who has been on a tear ever since he was traded from Beantown to the Dodgers. Also ex-Yankees manager Joe Torre's experience in the postseason also works to L.A.'s advantage.
Red Sox vs. RaysEven though Manny Ramirez is proving to be a success in L.A., Boston is proving that they don't need him to win. After defeating the L.A. Angels in the first round, the Red Sox move on to round two to face the up-and-coming Tampa Bay Rays. The young Rays surprised the league this year winning 97 games and easily defeating the White Sox. Boston, the defending World Series champs, hope that experience will be on their side as they look to steal one on Tampa's home field. That is no simple task since the Rays went 57-24 at Tropicana Field. Tampa also won 10 out of the 18 regular season matchups.
Boston hopes needs to set the tone with their pitching. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well against the Sox this season, so they are counting on him to come through this series. Pitchers Josh Beckett and Jon Lester also need to play well if Boston hopes to stand a chance. As for the Rays, they need Evan Longoria to continue to play big for them. The third baseman hit for .272 with 27 homers and 85 RBI's this season despite missing 40 games due to injury.