AL#1 Philadelphia Freedom (103-59)
NL#3 New Orleans Zydeco (91-71)
This match-up of the NL South Champion Zydeco and AL East Champion Freedom is sure to excite many. While not the Philadelphia-Columbus that the chalk would've generated, there is still plenty to like about this matchup.
The Freedom are a force to be reckoned with having hit 283 HRs this season. 11 players hit 10+ home runs, while 4 starters boasted better than a .318 batting average. 9 players scored 50+ runs while 6 knocked in 60+. In a statistical anomaly, they didn't steal a base all season, getting caught on both attempts.
The Freedom had 5 pitchers account for every start this past season and not a single one threw in fewer than 160 innings. There was not a single pitcher on this staff that finished with an ERA higher than 4.57, while no pitcher even walked 100. All 5 starters recorded 124+ strikeouts. Gave up 97 fewer home runs than they hit this season. The highest WHIP for the team was 1.56.
No player had more than 20 errors, and that was the SS, who recorded 20 plus plays. Overall the team made 86 total errors, while turning 473 double plays, and making 71 good plays. Their catchers threw out 25% of would-be base-stealers on the season.
The Zydeco had 4 players steal 10+ bases this season, while having 8 hitters knock 10+ HRs out of the park. 5 players accounted for 20+ doubles, while 7 players scored 50+ runs and knocked in 50+. They stole 94 bases while getting caught 32 times.
A 3.83 team ERA sets this up to be a potential pitcher's duel. 5 pitchers made all of New Orleans' starts this season, and no one pitched less than 157.1 innings. There were a couple pitchers with 5.00+ ERAs, but no one else had over a 4.50. WHIPs ranged from 0.80 to 1.57. No starter struck out fewer than 115 batters, while nobody walked more than 70 batters throughout the season.
Solid defensively, no player made more than 10 errors this season. This team was solid, but not spectacular, recording only 42 good plays. They did turn 427 double plays. They were horrendous at throwing out baserunners, catching only 15% of would-be base-stealers.
WHAT DO I THINK?
If Philadelphia stole bases, I think they would be able to win easily by using New Orleans' weakness against them. That being said, Philly does not steal bases, they rely on their awesome power to carry the day, while New Orleans ekes out wins using pitching. Common sense says that Philadelphia is better pitching, hitting, and fielding team than New Orleans, so they should win. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that New Orleans will win. Their scrappy ways have paid off all season and got them into the World Series. It'll serve them well here where they will have to scratch and claw for every run they can.
NEW ORLEANS in 7.