L.A. Teams Eyeing “Freeway Series” as MLB Playoffs Enter Round Two

Sean WagmanContributor IOctober 12, 2009

BOSTON - OCTOBER 11: Torii Hunter #48 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim celebrates with teammates in the locker room after defeating the Red Sox 7-6 in Game Three of the ALDS during the 2009 MLB Playoffs at Fenway Park on October 11, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

For the Angels, the path is a certain and familiar one as they take on the New York Yankees, who broke out the brooms last night with their 4-1 win over the Minnesota Twins.

For the Dodgers, it could be just the same, as they watch the Philadelphia Phillies try to wrap up their series with the Rockies tonight.

The Angels went 5-5 against the Yankees this season in a series of games that neither team was ever really out of, with the exception of the three-game sweep by LA at home just before the All-Star Break. This has certainly been a trend for the Angels, who own the Yankees when they meet in Anaheim.

This will be a matchup between two teams that are as different in style in terms of play on the field as Hollywood and the South Bronx are in terms of glamour. The Angels will look to get it done the same way they always have against Yankee pitching by finding ways to get on base and then running wild.

The Yankees know this, but with a defensive liability in at catcher in Jorge Posada, it’s hard to see them slowing down the Angels’ game plan.

The Yankees, on the other hand, will be looking for more of the same from Alex Rodriguez, who powered the Bronx Bombers past Minnesota, shedding his “Can’t get it done in October” moniker for the time being.

This should be a much more heated and contested series than these two teams had in the ALDS, and I fully expect it to go six or seven games.

Assuming that Cliff Lee will pitch the way he did in Game One against Colorado, then we can safely say that the Phillies will advance to the NLCS to take on the Dodgers. Of course, the last time I made this kind of assumption, I said the Twins were done and not making the playoffs, and look what happened there, but this time I’m confident that the champs will prevail and advance to play Game One in Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers desperately need to avoid getting into a high-scoring affair with the Phillies’ offense, because this plays right into what Philadelphia wants, as it makes it a battle to see which team’s pitching staff blinks first.

The Phillies should have a decided advantage in power and starting pitching and have to feel like they have the best team remaining in the NL right now with the Cardinals being eliminated. I struggle to see the Dodgers getting past Philly, but then again, I didn’t see them getting past St. Louis, either.