Yankee Red Sox fan's analysis is just so asinine, I had to rebut him, point by point. This is not comprehensive, nor is it (entirely) based on statistical fact; however, it is grounded in some semblance of reality, unlike that crazy Yanks fan. Read on for it.
As mariangaborik's post is either wrong or misguided on many levels, I am countering his argument that the Yankees win in 6. Truthfully, only in his perspective has he majorly failed. A common trait of a die-hard Yankee fan blind to the teams not spending nearly a quarter-billion every year.
The Angels and Yankees are relatively equal in terms of offensive might; however, the offensive prowess is accomplished in dramatically different ways. The Angels start with good baserunning skills, smart 1st to 3rd, small ball, and the potent hitter placed strategically throughout the lineup. Not to mention having unfathomably clutch-factors with RISP. The Yankees, on the other hand, play for the longball and almost exclusively so. Since they play in a park little bigger than most little-league infields, they can accomplish this feat without much struggle whilst at home.
- Catching: Napoli/Mathis vs. Posada/Molina. Don't forget that the Angels catching platoon has yielded fair success compared to many catchers not named Joe Mauer: during the regular season, they combined for 154 hits, 84 RBI, 25 HR, and 86 R with 5 SB just to top it off. Compared to Posada/Molina's combination of 139H, 23HR, 91 RBI, 70 R with just 1 SB between them. Posada is the best hitter of the 4, but he's also given the most playing time and even then, barely edges Napoli for HR and power. I'd say it's close to a wash, but given Napoli and Mathis are a combined 17 years younger than the platoon for the Yanks, whose knees do you think will be more forgiving in the long month of October? mini-ad: neutral, with shades of the Halo.
- First: Mark Teixeira is a veritable nightmare to pitchers. He hits long, sits on bad balls, and is not afraid to swing 3-0. Then there is Kendry Morales, who has consistently performed this season given regular playing time. The two were neck-and-neck for stats in late August until September saw KMo fall into a mini slump for three weeks where Tex continued his offensive campaign against the arms and psyche's of pitchers everywhere. mini-ad: Yanks, but Kendry is nothing to laugh at.
- Second: Robinson Cano hits it far and hits it a lot, but so do Howie Kendrick and Maicer Izturis when combined. Cano hit .320 to HK/Iztu's high .290s, but the latter had more hits and just two less home runs. mini-ad: Yanks, but Cano's there for his bat.
- Short: Derek Jeter has had a revival of sorts with his bat, leading the Yanks' best record with a campaign for a potential MVP. He's been nothing if not consistent and deadly at the plate hitting for high average. However, his downfall is his lack of XBH. He's a spray line-drive hitter who has injected some power into his bat because of his setting and is the first to line up to thank the contractors of Yankee stadium for their short porches. Aybar on the other hand, lives to stretch his singles into more, forcing errors, running like madness on the basepaths, and still hits for a hell of an average and clutchness. Will he use this in his bid to overtake Mr. November? mini-ad: Yanks, but watch Aybar outperform Jeets when he's at the A.
- Third: A-Rod. Either you're on board with him or you're not. He seems to have broken his spell of anti-clutchness in the playoffs, which could spell trouble for Angels pitchers. Comparing him to Figgy isn't even fair. The two are directly antithetical in how they produce runs, but Figgy gives the psychological breakdowns to pitchers on the mound. We'll see if the intangibles can match up to ARod's power. mini-AD: Yanks.
- OF: Left: Damon vs. Rivera: A fairly equal match-up with strikingly similar numbers, with one caveat: Rivera is better in all categories. mini-ad: Angels
Right: Abreu vs. Swisher: Swisher's pretty much all or nothing, as he's a .250 hitter with a lot of XBH and power stats, but Abreu is no slouch and was flirting with .300 this year on top of 15 HR, 103 RBIs and 96R scored. Bet you miss this guy, huh, Yankee fans? mini-ad: Angels.
Center: Torii Hunter vs. Miguel Cabrera. If Torii weren't playing hurt (still), this wouldn't even be a discussion. Hunter bests Cabrera in nearly every stat. However, Hunter is not quite as powerful as he was in May, but he's still able to hit long. He jacked a 3 run shot that put the Angels ahead for good and effectively started the tears in the curse of Donnie Moore on the road to sweeping Boston. Probably best not to mess with a man on a mission. mini-ad: Angels
Advantage: Yanks @ Yanks
slight edge to Angels @ Angels
Benches, yes, we are deeper, younger, faster, and more prepared for injury and replacement. The Yankees are old, getting older, and require key players to be healthy for their style of game to continue.
- Catching: Again, both catchers on the Angels do throw like inept women: Jeff Mathis way too high, and Mike Napoli way too low. Jorge Posada is lucky if his throws make it back to the pitcher, while Jose Molina, touted for his defense and game-calling, hasn’t had nearly as much success at throwing would-be runners out as you might think. mini-ad: neutral
- First: Mark Teixeira is better than Kendry Morales, though KMo is significantly better this season than last and is better now than the beginning of the season. You can’t disregard Teix’s ability to get to the ball and his lightning-quick reflexes. mini-ad: Yanks, but barely, and the gap is decreasing.
- Second: Robinson Cano is garbage; Howie Kendrick and Maicer Izturis are not. mini-ad: Angels
- Short: Derek Jeter is crud in terms of talent, but the guy does have some weird 6th sense, it’s almost ridiculous. He’s always in the right place at the right time. Aybar, conversely, has all the talent of a premier shortstop such that he's garnered the personal attention of the owner, Arte Moreno. However, he won't match up in the post-season experience that Jeter has had throughout his career of performing like a champion, despite his smug bubble-gum smirks. mini-ad: Angels, but watch for Jeter to perform.
- Third: Chone Figgins is a fantastic 3b. Somehow. But Alex Rodriguez still has flashes of his former defensive brilliance. mini-AD: Angels, but barely, and not for lack of talent.
- OF: The Angels are just so, so superior in every way:
Left: Juan Rivera >>> Johnny Damon in terms of range and especially arm strength. Watch him pull home-runs back into the yard when he's got a beat on the ball.
Center: Torii Hunter >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Melky Cabrera in every measure of human worth,
Right: ... and who the heck is in right for the Yanks…? anyone? Does anyone even play over there? Oh, that's right. It's Nick Swisher. The twice abandoned former White Sox/A's
surferoutfielder with a perennial weight problem. The comparison doesn’t particularly matter because Bobby Abreu is solid enough "so that it doesn’t matter", but given Bobby has a gold glove and Mr. Swisher does not, we'll go with him.
Ad: Angels, by miles. Literal miles. I'd like to see the Yankee outfield run sprints and not wheeze the whole way.
Can the Yanks even fill their brand-new, one billion dollar stadium? No one can even afford to get in without mortgaging their townhouses or selling bums to the city. But there are two words for the advantage of the Angels at home. Words that strike such terror into the hearts of opposition everywhere, that they only dare be uttered during the playoffs: Thunder. Sticks.
This is exceedingly in the Angels’ favor, but not for the reason of stolen bases alone. Sure, the Angels do that exceptionally well, but the Yanks averaged around the same amount of net stolen bases/game. The real advantage comes in the gutsiness of the runners going first to third, and all small ball moves, executed with machine-like precision. Do the Yankees have anyone who can consistently perform a bunt, and beyond that, anyone who could even make it to second on a bunt?
The Yankees have the clear bank-roll edge, but outside of C.C. Sabathia, 1/2 of A.J. Burnett, the occasional stellar gem of Andy Pettitte, and MoRiv, who do the Yanks have that can perform on the big stage?
The Angels have John Lackey, who is coming off of a 7.1 IP shutout effort against the tough Red Sox offense and is pitching better than his already good 11-8, 3.83ERA, 139K injury-shortened season would indicate. Next is Jered Weaver, who has something to prove, and you’re seeing it on the mound now from the 16 game winner. Scott Kazmir is, indeed, a wild-card, but he can be. Given the Angels have starters Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, and long relief/spot-starters Darren Oliver, and Matt Palmer (a veritable 11 game winner) all pitching out of the ‘pen, they have depth beyond the Yank’s wildest dreams. Who are you going to put up against it, the innings-limited Joba Chamberlain? The talent-limited Chien-Ming Wang? Good luck, there, hoss.
Ad: Angels, ever so slightly.
Mariano Rivera is better in every statistical category, but Brian Fuentes has more saves, and has been in a World Series more recently than Mr. Sandman… something to think about there combined with all of the knowledge above.
If Scioscia doesn’t receive Manager of the Year for this season of scotch-taping together a 97-win team out of a despair-ridden clubhouse wrought with anguish over the death of a fallen comrade, having 4 SP on the DL on opening day, losing our premiere closer and 8th inning setup man, and doing without Vlad AND Torii for 6 weeks at the same time, there is no justice in the world. Meanwhile, what has Girardi done? He couldn’t even coach a 200mil team to the POST-SEASON last year. Now he has even better players, 8 of whom are making $20million or more per year, and he’s got them to the championships. Congratulations, you did what your organization paid a quarter-billion dollars to do. Ku-friggin'-dos.
Also, Scioscia was a better catcher as a rookie than Girardi ever was in the history of any time. Tell me who YOU’D rather run into as he’s blocking the plate.
Advantage: Scioscia and his Angels.
Angels are the dominating team with respect to history, year-in and year-out, during the season, in the post-season, at home or away. The Yankees just have never matched up. Then again, the Angels hadn't matched to the Red Sox for 23 years... look how that turned out this season.
Ad: Angels, but it's probably irrelevant given the changing faces of the Yanks
Well, that’s about it. Let me know what you think, and maybe I can amend my post with your thoughts.
Oh, and my prediction! As largely irrelevant as it is, I guess I have to pick something, but I'm just unable to commit to a number. So I'll say Angels in 1 because it's going to be such a one-sided beating, the Angels won't even have to show up for games 2, 3 and 4 to win the series.