Tuesday's question of the day: Who will win the World Series, and who will be the MVP?
Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times
Yankees in 6. The middle relief could be a mess for both sides, putting a premium on a starter who can pitch into the eighth inning and turn the game over to the closer. The Yankees can get three starts out of CC Sabathia, who was the ALCS MVP and could be the World Series MVP too. Sabathia went eight innings in each of his ALCS victories over the Angels, and few teams are more vulnerable to an ace left-hander than the Phillies, with left-handed hitters Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez in the middle of their lineup.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
This is going to be a great World Series -- the best since 1999 in terms of having the best teams in both leagues, and with the potential for it to become an instant classic, living for generations in our sports fan DNA. It’s hard to pick against a team that has gone 18-5 the last two Octobers, winning five consecutive series without even playing one elimination game, but I’m calling it Yankees in seven. Look for lots of high-scoring games, especially with familiarity and short-rest starts limiting the ability of CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee to dominate. This has been Alex Rodriguez’s October, and why would it stop now? Only two days off after the ALCS clincher will help A-Rod keep his stroke – a higher-maintenance one than most realize – and he’ll be the guy who beats the Phillies.
Stephen Miller, Allentown Morning Call
It will take seven games, but the Yankees will win their 27th World Series title for one reason – they have closer Mariano Rivera.
The Yankees and Phillies boast similar profiles. Both teams led their league in home runs and runs scored during the regular season. Both have one starter having a dominant postseason (CC Sabathia for the Yanks, Cliff Lee for the Phils) and another starter with good stuff but erratic production (A.J. Burnett for New York, Cole Hamels for Philadelphia).
Enter Rivera. Phillies closer Brad Lidge has not allowed a run this postseason, but Rivera may be the biggest weapon in playoff history. The Yankees can use him for as many as six outs, as they did in Game 6 of the ALCS, while Lidge is mostly a one-inning pitcher. Rivera also has more big-game closing experience than anyone, so expect him to be the difference in this World Series.
Dom Amore, Hartford Courant
Two things are in the Yankees favor as the World Series gets underway – the homefield advantage and Mariano Rivera. Yes, CC Sabathia has been superb as the No.1 starter, but the Phillies have an answer in Cliff Lee. Yes, Alex Rodriguez has shaken off his postseason hangups and is an offensive force and the Phillies have all kinds of offense, too. What separates the Yankees in an otherwise dead-even matchup is the reliability and durability of their closer, who made it a seven-inning game against the Angels in the ALCS, and with Rivera comes the ability to close out a game on the road. The Phillies Brad Lidge and company figure to have trouble closing games in the new Yankee Stadium, which has become a walk-off wonderland. That’s why the Yankees will win the World Series in seven games.