I would also easily go as far as in saying that the Phillies and the Dodgers are the two best teams in the National League as of now and could easily repeat the NLCS matchup.
The Phillies will not face star pitcher Chad Billingsley. They are also playing away. When they played these Dodgers in May they lost two out of three at Citizens Bank Park.
Also the Dodgers have faced relatively easy teams so far especially after playing in the worst division in baseball this year.
On the Dodgers page there is an article titled, "No Manny, No Problem". He is exactly right. Without Manny the Phillies can beat up these Dodgers in LA.
As long as the Phillies bats continue, they can easily take this series from the MLB's best.
Tonight's matchup is Cole Hamels vs. Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is having a pretty nice year, but Hamels is getting better and better every game after returning from injury. Look for the pitcher to stay the longest win.
The second game's matchup is Jamie Moyer vs. Eric Milton. Milton, the former Phil, is slowly becoming better and pitching faster this year.
Moyer is coming off one of his best starts of the year against the Nationals where he earned his 250th career win. Whoever walks the least will probably win, as both are prone to giving up free bases and having runs come off of them.
Saturday's game features Joe Blanton vs. Hiroki Kuroda. Blanton has had three straight starts where he has earned a win, and would like to win the fourth. Kuroda pitched his first decent start in nearly a month in his last outing.
If Kuroda can control the Phillies he'll have no problem. Blanton also might be a little cocky for this game.
In ESPN's Sunday Night Basball' game of the week we will likely see Antonio Bastardo go for his second straight win in as many big league appearances. He'll be dueling with another former Phillie, Randy Wolf.
Bastardo was brilliant in his first start of the year against the Padres and would like to continue to ride that success into the national spotlight. Wolf has been shaky in the few first innings of his starts, but has settled down quite a bit. If the Phillies can knock Wolf around in the first couple of innings, expect the floodgates to open.
The second part of this article is how the Phillies compare offensively with the Dodgers. The Dodgers are in front of the Phills in most of the offensive categories except for HRs where the Phillies have almost double the amount the Dodgers have.
While comparing outfields this year the Phillies have Shane Victorino, Jaysoin Werth, and Raul Ibanez. We all know Ibanez is having a career year and is arguably the best outfielder this year in the Big Leagues.
While he's been very hot, Werth and Victorino have only been average and need to come on a roll to help the Phillies this year.
The Dodgers list Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Juan Pierre. All three have been performing very well this season with Pierre being outstanding this year after being on the bubble this offseason.
Also in the catchers' department Carlos Ruiz is having his best offensive season ever and continues to be one of the most consistent catchers in all of baseball. Russel Martin is also producing numbers, although not as highly as in years past.
Now finally the infielders. Howard, Utley, Rollins, and Feliz have played consistently this season, but not spectacular.Utley and Howard have put up good stats, but have not exploded when compared to totals at the same time in previous years.
Feliz is having a career year as of now, but still is not producing the big numbers like Howard or Utley have in the past. Rollins has not been playing well and is slumping this year compared to his last and MVP seasons.
Casey Blake, Orlando Hudson, James Loney, and Rafael Furcal make up the Dodgers four infielders this year. Blake has been very good this year with a batting average of .293, and Hudson is also playing well with a .329 BA. Loney is having a consistent year so far, but Furcal is not having the best of his years.
Now personally I think the Phillies should get some sort of compensation for taking Chan Ho Park from the Dodgers. How about a sweep.
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