As if the Red Sox' postseason dominance over the Angels weren't documented enough, how about this fun fact?
The Orange County Register's Jeff Miller points out: "Since 2004, these teams have played 94 postseason innings against one another. The Angels have had the lead for only 71/2 of those innings."
That's only 12.5 percent of the time, which is only a shade better than the 10 percent of the time the Angels have won a playoff game vs. Boston over that span.
For the record, Miller is going with the Sox in a sweep, only because they can't win the series in two.
Here is how some other folks see the series playing out:
- Mike DiGiovanna, L.A Times: Red Sox in 5. "The Red Sox have a nice balance of power throughout their lineup with the left-handed David Ortiz and J.D. Drew, the switch-hitting Victor Martinez, and the right-handed Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay, but they can also wreak havoc on the bases with Jacoby Ellsbury, who led the league with 70 stolen bases in 83 attempts, an 84% success rate. Boston is even more patient than the Angels, ranking second in the league in walks and on-base percentage."
- ESPN.com: Twelve members of the 22-person panel pick the Sox. Keith Law, Dave O’Brien, and Pedro Gomez pick Boston to win the World Series.
- Tim Kurkijan, ESPN.com: Red Sox in 5. “This movie always seems to have the same plot and the same ending. Since the Angels won the World Series in 2002, they have played the Red Sox three times in the postseason, lost all three series and won only one of 10 games. The past two years, the Red Sox held the Angels to 16 runs in seven games. But the Angels won this season's series 5-3, scored 47 runs and have reasons to suggest that this year's postseason will be different indeed.”
- Ken Rosenthal, Foxsports.com: Angels in 5. “The Sox's inability to throw out opposing base stealers is far more of a problem than it was the three previous times these teams met in the postseason.”
- Sporting News: Only 10 people on the 34-person panel (including the likes of Mark McGwire, Tom Brunansky, and Kent Tekulve) pick the Red Sox.
- Stan MacNeal, Sporting News: Red Sox in 5. “Too much power—at the plate and on the mound.”
- Tyler Kepner, New York Times: Angels in 5. “The Angels have the most stolen bases of any playoff team, and that’s bad news for the Boston catchers. Jason Varitek caught just 8.5 percent of would-be base stealers, the worst percentage of his career. The other Red Sox catcher, Victor Martinez, nabbed only 10.5 percent after being traded from Cleveland. Expect the aggressive Angels to run every chance they can.”
- Lee Jenkins, CNNSI.com: Angels in 5. “The matchup between L.A.'s rejuvenated offense and Boston's stellar starting pitchers -- particularly Jon Lester and Josh Beckett -- will determine if the Angels have caught up to their October rivals or if nothing has really changed.”
- Danny Knobler, CBS Sports.com: Red Sox. “The Angels could win this series, but then again they could have won last year's series, too, and they didn't. Until they prove otherwise, the Angels go down as the team that can't beat the Red Sox when it counts.”
- Larry Stone, Seattle Times: Red Sox in 5. “Yeah, I know the Angels have scored more runs than any team but the Yankees, that their rotation led the majors with a 2.96 ERA in September, and that Mike Scioscia has done his best managing job. I know the Angels, touched by tragedy, have the makings of a team of destiny. Don't care.”
- Phil Wallace, L.A. Observed: Angels. “Is this the year the Angels come through? I think so.”
- Our picks: Phillies over Rockies in 5.
Strong starting pitching will save Phillies from a suspect bullpen. In the NLCS though, probably not.
Cardinals over Dodgers in 3.
Joe Torre's October date with the Yankees isn't meant to be.
Yankees over Twins in 3.
The Yankees could send Hideki Irabu to the mound three straight games and still get past the overmatched, burnt-out, and possibly hungover Twins. And is that a Carl Pavano sighting? Yikes. Thanks for playing, Minny.
Red Sox over Angels in 5.
Sox drop the first pair in Anaheim, then win three straight to drive a new, painful chapter in the postseason history between these two clubs. ALCS in the Bronx next Friday night.