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Thursday October 9, 2008 1:39 pm

NLCS Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers Vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, and Ryan Howard are ready to get it on

Hard fought series? Check. Scratching out runs? You bet. Clutch hitting and smart pitching? No question. The Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels goes tonight against Los Angeles Dodgers veteran pitcher Derek Lowe. Both posted 14 wins.  Lowe chalked up 11 losses while Hamels had 10. Both hurlers were pretty even in ERA, WHIP, and strikeout-to-walk ratio. Look for a real pitchers duel. Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard and Chase Utley will probably break out of their NLDS slumps with timely hits while the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez will be swinging a mighty bat throughout the series.

This series will most likely be decided by relief pitching and clutch hitting. Philadelphia’s Brad Lidge has a slight edge over the Dodgers’ Jonathan Broxton as a closer with the remainder of each bullpen about even. Home field advantage is a moot point. The Dodgers couldn’t beat the Phillies in L.A. Philly had the devil of a time trying to best the Dodgers at Citizen’s Bank Ballpark. Need more proof? Both squads finished the season series in an 8-8 deadlock. The Phils have an explosive one through four in their starting line-up, while no one can compare with Manny who has shown more late inning offensive fireworks than you’ve had hot meals. Unless one team or the other does a complete crash and burn, this series will run the full seven games. The winner? Flip a coin.

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