Filed Under (Command Center, NL East Chatter) by Chris Comando on 04-10-2010
While the Marlins, Mets, and Nationals hit the golf course and start to make their plans for 2011, the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves will be playing in the postseason. The Phillies comfortably took the NL East, and it took the Braves until Day 162 to earn a playoff berth, but both will be battling to reach the World Series.
So what are their chances? Here is my take on Round 1.
Phillies vs. Reds
The Phillies have the home field advantage against the NL Central Champion Cincinnati Reds. The Phillies are clearly the better team, and to me, the question isn’t if the Phils will win this series, but rather how many games it will take.
The Phillies battled through injuries throughout the 2010 season. Now they are healthy, and thanks to clinching the division title early, they were able to set up their pitching rotation. With the Roys (Halladay & Oswalt) and Cole Hamels pitching the first three games, the Reds will have their hands full. The Reds had the chance to set up their rotation as well, but with three righties (Volquez, Arroyo, & Cueto) facing Utley, Howard, and company, Cincinnati’s pitchers will have their hands full.
So, will the Reds take a game? The Command Center says…..no.
Prediction: Phillies in 3.
Braves vs. Giants
Both the Braves and Giants stamped their tickets to the playoffs on the season’s final day. Both teams are also built on pitching. Will one team’s staff let them down? Will one offense catch fire at the right time?
The Giants will throw out “The Freak,” Tim Lincecum, against Atlanta’s Derek Lowe in Game 1 on Thursday night. Every game is important in a short series, but the winner of the first game of this showdown will have a huge leg up on their opponent. A Giants win, and San Fran will be feeling good and looking to go on a roll with Cain & Sanchez to follow. If the Braves can defeat San Fran’s ace, it could be a major blow to the Giants’ psyche and a big momentum swing in Atlanta’s favor.
I expect a bunch of low scoring games and teams looking to scratch and claw to put runs on the board. Will the Braves rally behind their skipper and extend Bobby Cox’s managing career one more series? I could see this series going either way, but the Command Center can only declare one winner.
Prediction: Giants in 5.
Did the Command Center get these right? There’s only one way to find out. Play Ball!