2011 World Series Predictions — Cliff Lee to the Phillies

Cliff Lee Phillies Trade

It’s beginning to look a lot like Chrrrrristmasss — well at least in Boston and Philadelphia. The Phillies shocked everybody yesterday, signing Cliff Lee to a 5 year $120 million dollar deal that instantly gives the Philadelphia the best starting rotation in baseball. I see this as a major setback for both the Yankees and the Rangers, as the Ranger have lost and ace and the Yankees have lost the best left-handed arm they could have gotten to help combat Boston’s new left happy line-up. This does mean, however, that New York will have deep pockets to sign nearly every other available player they want — and you know they’ll pull a big trade out of their hat sometime next season. All of that said, I think this move immediately makes the Red Sox and the Phillies the favorites for next season — I’ll predict here and now that they meet in the World Series. Let’s take a look at their starting rotations for 2011:

Phillies: Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt

Red Sox: John Lester, Clay Bucholz, Josh Beckett, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lackey (Tim Wakefield)

Those rotations could create some fantastic pitching match-ups, but I think the Red Sox have a serious advantage offensively. That said, the average Philadelphia starter is a better pitcher and the Phillies have the advantage of playing in the National league — meaning the Red Sox won’t have nearly the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the Phillies rotation, as they would, say, the Yankees. Still, I believe that Boston’s chances of beating the Yankees in a 7 game series went up substantially with the Yanks missing out on Lee.

Lee’s move to the Phillies certainly was a surprise, and I can’t help but speculate on why he chose the Phils. He seemed to be happy in Texas, where he pitched the team to the World Series. The Yankees offered him crazy money and a chance to play in a huge market for a serious contender. His reasons for passing the Yanks by could have been the quality of life issue he raised, or it could simply have been the fact that he’d have to share a division with the Red Sox. Lee must have seen the Phillies’ rotation, wanted to get in on the action, and realized a playoff birth was more of a guarantee in Philly than anywhere else. His career numbers will likely be much better in the NL than the AL East, suggesting that he may have been concerned about his legacy. I’m sure his true reasons had something to do with getting a chance to win and his family’s quality of life — maybe his family has friends in the Philly area, who knows.

Regardless, the 2011 season should, without a doubt, be a competitive one.

Sox in 7 games.

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “2011 World Series Predictions — Cliff Lee to the Phillies

  1. j-bone

    He wanted to play the mets 18 times a year

  2. Teck

    Couldnt believe this signing…this rotation is absolutely filthy. Obviously there are a few question marks with the Phils offense. but theyve gotta be the favorite to come out of the NL now.

    The offense was less than stellar last year, but i’ve got to believe that not everyone will have a down year again like they did last year. OF is the big question mark and who will fill in as a right handed bat to replace JWerth. Dominic brown is a good prospect, and hopefully he’ll reach his potential this year, but at least to start it looks like he’ll platoon. Also Ibanez is a huge question mark, very streaky…he can be down right horrible or at his best half way decent, so not much faith for him. but i think the phils saw what the giants did and said…pitching and scrubs can win a world series. so lets make sure we have the best pitching.

  3. j-bone

    The Yankees just went to Seattle and kidnapped Felix Hernandez sources close to the situation stated. They also hired Brandon Jacobs to step on the Red Sox hands with his cleats on.

    • Nah. The Red Sox players are all running circles around Brandon Jacobs throwing rosin bags at him. He’s starting to tear up, and Felix Hernandez really just wants to get in on the Red Sox action.

  4. Williams

    umm yeah… john lackey over daisuke. Everyone typically has a poor first year in Boston. Lackey will be 3.5 and 16-18 wins this year

  5. As much as I’d love to rebut the points made by the post above, the only one I can turn back is the one that hurts the Yanks the most – there really aren’t any players they can (read: should) dump the newfound money on. Lee was it.

    I mean, check out the free agents available after next season: http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/03/2012-mlb-free-agents.html

    Weak SP market…pray for trades, Yanks fans…

    I’m hiding under a desk in my Boston office…

  6. Teck

    they will offer Albert Pujols – One Kazillion dollars and then we will again be able to complain about all they do is spend

  7. Teck

    also Williams i think 16-18 wins might be excessive, but he should have a lot of run support…I do think he will have a much better year this year though.

  8. Teck

    Finally Howigit…whats your take on the contract? I love that its only 5 years and think thats a much safer investment. Yankees fans seem to disagree.

    • I agree with you 100 percent. He’s got some mileage on that arm and although he’s not a power pitcher he throws hard for his body and throw a ton of pitches that put stress on his arm. I have no interest in 38 and 39 year old pitchers and agree that 5 years is much safer, albeit for slightly more money per year.

  9. j-bone

    It is a safer investment, all we said is you are paying more a year then the yankees offered.

  10. Alan Weeks

    Zachary G should get over his anxiety disorder and learn how to be a professional athlete, then he should come play for us in the Bronx.

  11. Jacob

    Your argument that the sox hitters won’t have time to familiarize themselves with the phillies lineup is seriously flawed because the phillies hitters will have the exact same problem balancing it out, not to mention that A-gon is from the NL so if anything this is a sox advantage.

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