The teams are closely matched, with Boston being a "tick" better in my opinion. Folks have called out Scareduck about being a pessimist, but he isn't the only person that thinks the Halos are a slight underdog. Anyway, here is my take...
Offensively, while the teams are really close in terms of OPS and Win Shares the Sox are built in a way that is more likely to succeed in the postseason.
They are going to draw walks, get base-runners and hit HR's. Baserunners = runs. Period.
The Halos aren't built that way, as we fans know. The Angels are built to slap the opposing pitcher to death with singles and doubles. If those hits aren't falling they aren't going to get baserunners.
The Halos are built to succeed if they have a high BA. That isn't something you should count on solely - hence the discussion of the need for another power bat in the past.
From the pitching side of things I actually like the Halos rotation better than the Sox - Beckett aside. It is in the bullpen that I am worried.
Shields has fallen off in the last 6 weeks and Delcarmen, Okajima and Papelbon are NAILS. Period. They are better at the end of the game - by a lot.
So, the back end of the bullpen and the OBP and SLG on the offensive side of things, in my opinion, set the Sox apart - slightly - from the Halos.
With regards to the managers...
I think that Scioscia is not always making smart moves. Aybar should NEVER have hit for Napoli in game #1. Nipples ripped a ball in the 3rd inning and could be the biggest non-Vlad HR threat in the lineup. He needs to stay in the game. Aybar was a stupid, stupid move.
Hitting Izzy 5th is just lame - Chone needed to be at 3rd base w/ Rivera in RF. That would have been the optimal usage in Game #1 (in my opinion). Scioscia couldn't even get the right players on the field. It probably wouldn't have mattered vs. Beckett - but it will matter tonight vs. Dice-K. There better be one of Morales/Rivera in the line-up tonight and Napoli should be behind the dish.
Anyway, I'm done bitching now.
Let's go Escobar.
Player you want to NOT see in the lineup in Game #2
Willits (17 votes)
Mathis (6 votes)
Napoli (4 votes)
G.A. (12 votes)
Izturis (3 votes)
42 total votes