The Prediction Post/Happ on roster

Call Me Now!

UPDATED: Before we get to the predictions, a piece of news to pass along. The Phillies have announced their 25-man roster for the NLCS and there are no changes from the NLDS roster. That means, as expected, lefty long-man J.A. Happ is in and righthander Rudy Seanez is out.

Now, on to the predictions:

A conclusion after looking at the Daily News' predictions and the predictions of all the national baseball experts: Either we are a bunch of homers, or the rest of the country has no idea what they are talking about.

A buddy of mine is convinced it is the first situation. I spent an entire card game last night explaining why the Dodgers had a good shot at winning this series. The Phillies offense is not automatic, and the Dodgers will throw out three pitchers who have the potential to give them trouble. Derek Lowe has started more playoff games than the rest of the Phillies rotation combined. I think the Dodgers-versus-Jamie Moyer match-up grossly favors the Dodgers. I told all this to my buddy. So when he picked up the paper today and saw I picked the Phillies in six, he sent me an email calling me a word that I cannot use on this blog.

But I'll explain. As much hesitation as I have about the match-up with the Dodgers, as much as I think the Phillies line-up could struggle against Lowe, Kuroda, Billingsley and even Kershaw, I keep coming back to one over-riding point: Cole Hamels and Brett Myers will pitch four of the first six games of this series. Since Aug. 17, the Phillies are 12-6 when one of those two pitchers starts a game. In the playoffs, they are 2-0. While Lowe has been one of the best pitchers in the NL over the last month, I don't think either he nor Billingsley has as good of a shot at shutting an opponent down for 7-8 innings.

So that is where I am putting my eggs, in the basket of the No. 1 and the No. 2. If either one falters, even slightly, the Phillies may very well follow. But I'm going to write a sentence I never thought I'd right in spring training: I'm picking the Phillies because of pitching.

Here is a look at how other prognosticators are picking this series:

Daily News
David Murphy: Phillies, 4-2
Paul Hagen: Dodgers, 4-3
Ed Barkowitz: Phillies, 4-3
Marcus Hayes: Phillies, 4-3
Bill Conlin: Phillies, 4-3
Sam Donnellon: Phillies, 4-3
Rich Hofmann: Phillies, 4-2

Rob Neyer: Phillies, 4-3
Jayson Stark: Dodgers, 4-3
Tim Kurjian: Dodgers, 4-3
Steve Phillips: Dodgers, 4-3
Jim Caple: Dodgers, 4-1

Fox Sports
Ken Rosenthal: Dodgers, 4-3

Tim Brown: Dodgers, 4-2
Jeff Passan: Dodgers, 4-2
Steve Henson: Dodgers, 4-1
Gordon Edes: Dodgers, 4-3

The Sporting News
Matt Lutvosky: Dodgers, 4-2
Justin McGuire: Phillies, 4-2
Brad Pinkerton: Dodgers, 4-3
Chris Bahr: Phillies, 4-3

CBS Sportsline
Danny Knobler: Dodgers, 4-3
Eric Mack: Dodgers, 4-3
Scott Miller: Dodgers, 4-2
Mark Rosen: Dodgers, 4-2