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Whatifsports.com's released our original ALCS simulation predictions about 30-minutes prior to the New York Yankees announcement that Andy Pettite would be starting Game 3 vs Texas. We elected to re-simulate the entire 7-game series to account for this last minute change in the rotation.
One has 27 World Series titles under its belt. The other has one postseason series victory in its 50 years of existence, which coincidentally came on Tuesday night.
One has Monument Park, honoring legends baring the names of Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle. The other has a Hall of Fame/hospitality room featuring "greats" like Rusty Greer, Tom Grieve, and Ruben Sierra.
And, like all things in life, there's the issue of fiscal inventory. One's payroll for their starting infield trumps the other's entire roster. One stadium was built for $191 million; the other sprang for $1.5 billion. One pays Alex Rodriguez's salary. The other still owes Alex Rodriguez's salary.
The New York Yankees and Texas Rangers appear to be on the opposite ends of the baseball spectrum regardless of the matter at hand. So it's apropos that these two franchises find themselves at odds again, with the American League Championship Series serving as the venue for their dispute.
Despite these differences, the teams do share some similarities. Both powered their way into the postseason with parallel equations: explosive offensive assaults backed by prosaic pitching. New York led the American League in runs, RBI, and OBP, and came in 2nd in OPS and 3rd in the home run department. By comparison, Texas ranks in the top-5 in runs, hits, home runs, RBI, OBP, and OPS. And as previously mentioned, each roster's arsenal of arms were satisfactory, as the Rangers posted a team ERA of 3.93 compared to the Yankee's figure of 4.06. Additionally, each team boasts an MVP candidate: second baseman Robinson Cano hit .319 with 29 bombs, 109 RBI, and 103 runs for
Grind My Greers
How do you sum up Rusty Greer's career?
the Yanks, while centerfielder Josh Hamilton led the AL in average (.359), slugging (.633), and OPS (1.044).
Yet the contrasting culture between the clubs is conspicuous. The Yankees will be vying for their 41st World Series voyage; this will be the Rangers inaugural ALCS appearance. The Yankees provoke an array of emotions from fans; outside of Dallas and opposing AL West cities, most baseball admirers are apathetic towards Texas.
So who wins the battle between these polar oppo-nents? The WhatIfSports baseball engine simulated the series 1,001 times to crown the 2010 American League champion. The results indicated the series will go six games, with the Texas Rangers coming out on top 61.2% of the time.
ALCS 1001 Simulations of Best of 7 Series
Below is a game-by-game summary and related box score of our simulation's predicted results.
Although the Yanks are defending world champions and the prohibitive favorite to win the pennant, the series begins in Arlington on Friday night, as Texas won the AL West while New York had to settle for the Wild Card. New York, thanks to a sweep of Minnesota in the Divisional Series, has the luxury of sending ace and 21-game winner C.C. Sabathia to the mound for Game 1. Sabathia, one of the game's preeminent pitchers the last three seasons, has been relatively pedestrian in the playoffs, with a career mark of 6-4 in 11 games with a 4.41 ERA and 1.49 WHIP. Historically, the 2007 Cy Young winner hasn't fared much better in Texas, where Sabathia has a 4.71 ERA and 1.60 WHIP in 36.1 innings.
Game 1 ALCS
|WP: C.J. Wilson LP: C.C. Sabathia SV: Neftali Feliz|
|Player of the Game: C.J. Wilson - 8 IP, 1 ER, 13Ks|
|Player||HRs in ALCS (Avg.)|
Conversely, while the Rangers employ the services of Cliff Lee (who in seven career postseason starts is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA and 0.78 WHIP), Texas turns to 29-year-old C.J. Wilson to take the mound, as Lee is unavailable until Game 3. Wilson is coming off a stellar performance in Game 2 of the ALDS, going 6.1 shutout innings and striking out seven in the process. And according to our simulation, Wilson continued to assert his dominance in the 2010 postseason, whiffing 13 batters in eight innings as the Rangers squeak past the Yanks 2-1 in the opening game of the ALCS. For his efforts, Sabathia improved upon his past playoff performances, as the Yankee ace went eight innings, giving up two runs on eight hits while striking out nine. A Michael Young groundout scored rookie Mitch Moreland in the 3rd, and Ian Kinsler blooped a single in the 6th to drive in Nelson Cruz. Texas closer Neftali Feliz worked a scoreless 9th to preserve the win.
Game 2 ALCS
|WP: Phil Hughes LP: Colby Lewis SV: Mariano Rivera|
|Player of the Game: Brett Gardner - 3-4, 3RBIs|
Game 1 might have been a pitchers’ duel, but Game 2 proved to be an offensive spectacle. Thanks to three RBI from Brett Gardner, New York blasts past Texas 7-6. The Rangers went ahead early with a 3-run 1st, fueled by a 2-run bomb from Young and a solo shot courtesy of Vladimir Guerrero. Yet the Yankees came roaring back in the 2nd with four runs of their own, highlighted by a 2-run triple from Gardner. New York struck again in the 4th, with a Gardner double driving in Lance Berkman and a Mark Teixeira single bringing around Gardner. Pinstripe pitcher Phil Hughes recovered from an early deficit to go 6.2 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits to get the win. His counterpart, Colby Lewis, struggled with his command, walking five on his way to surrendering six runs in just 3.2 innings. The immortal Mariano Rivera earned the save by striking out Cruz to seal the victory.
Game 3 ALCS
|WP: Cliff Lee LP: Andy Pettitte SV: Neftali Feliz|
|Player of the Game: Cliff Lee - 8 IP, 2 ER, 9 Ks|
|ALCS Top BA|
|Player||BA in ALCS (Avg.)|
Much ado was made concerning Joe Girardi’s decision to pit Andy Pettitte against Texas workhorse Cliff Lee. Unfortunately for Girardi, this verdict proved fruitless for the Yanks, as Pettitte is touched up for five runs in a 5-2 Rangers victory. Lee padded his postseason portfolio with another pristine performance, pitching eight innings of 2-run ball and fanning nine Yankees in the process. Josh Hamilton and Vlad ignited the offense with solo homers, and Bengie Molina added two ribbies for the Rangers. A Nick Swisher jack proved to be the only offense for New York, who have yet to get production from Teixeira (batting .100) or Alex Rodriguez (.083).
Game 4 ALCS
|WP: Tommy Hunter LP: A.J. Burnett SV: Darren O'Day|
|Player of the Game: Josh Hamilton - 2-3, 2 R, 2 RBIs|
Heading into October, a chief concern for Yankee fans was the state of A.J. Burnett, who posted a 6.14 ERA in September. Burnett did not alleviate any apprehension, as the hurler yielded five runs in 6.1 innings, giving Texas a 3-1 lead in the series.
Hamilton continued his hot hitting with a 1st inning solo bomb and a RBI single in the 7th, and Kinsler added a 2-run homer to power the Rangers. Texas starter Tommy Hunter turned in a solid showing, holding the Yankee lineup to two runs in 6.2 innings. Reliever Darren O'Day took the reins from Hunter and earned the save in 2.1 innings of scoreless work.
Game 5 ALCS
|WP: C.C. Sabathia LP: C.J. Wilson SV: Mariano Rivera|
|Player of the Game: C.C. Sabathia - 8IP, 4 ER, 4 Ks|
|ALCS Top ERA|
|Player||ERA in ALCS (Avg.)|
Facing elimination, the Yankees found themselves down 4-2 heading into the 8th inning. A bases loaded walk from Jorge Posada cut the lead to one, and a Curtis Granderson 2-run single lifted New York to a 5-4 W in Game 5. Sabathia pitched admirably, surrendering four runs in eight innings for the Yanks. Wilson turned in his second gem of the series, leaving the game with a 4-2 lead with 2 outs in the 8th, but Darren Oliver could not slam the door on New York.
Game 6 ALCS
|WP: Colby Lewis LP: Phil Hughes SV: Neftali Feliz|
|Player of the Game: Colby Lewis - 8IP, 0 ER, 8 Ks|
After 50 years filled with ineptitude and failure, the Texas Rangers are heading to the World Series with a nail-biting 4-3 triumph in Arlington.
The Rangers hit up Hughes early, racking up four runs in the 1st thanks to 2-run homers by Hamilton and Cruz. Colby Lewis bounced back from a brutal Game 3, confining New York to three runs on seven hits in an eight-inning performance. Texas made it interesting in the 9th, as Feliz surrendered a double to Lance Berkman and an Elvis Andrus error allowed Gardner to reach first. However, Feliz was able to smoke Francisco Cervelli, capping off the coronation for the Rangers.
Check out the NLCS preview from WhatIfSports.com.
Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.