Who Would You Rather Face? Yankees or Angels? – Phillies Nation

Who Would You Rather Face? Yankees or Angels?

Most of the country is assuming that it will be a Phillies-Yankees World Series, even though the latter isn’t there yet.  The New York Yankees had a 3-1 series lead against the Los Angeles Angels, but lost to send the series back to New York.  The 2004 American League Championship Series is still fresh in every body’s minds; the Boston Red Sox beat the Yankees despite trailing the series 3-0.  A similar comeback is possible for the Angels, but right now their backs are against the wall.

That leads to the question: who do you want the Phillies to play in the World Series?  The players don’t have a preference.  The Angels and Yankees are each elite teams;  they are playing in the ALCS for a reason.  When compared head to head, the Phillies, Angels, and Yankees are closer than you think.

The mentality of facing the Yankees is to play the better team.  The Yankees had the best record in baseball during the regular season (103-59).  To be the best, you have to beat the best.  A Phillies-Angels series may appear to be “easier” on paper, but the Angels put together a 97-65 record under Mike Scioscia.

If the Phillies were to play the Yankees, slug-fests would be expected.  The Yankees scored the most runs (915) and hit the most home runs (244) in baseball.  The Phillies weren’t far behind, ranking first in the National League in runs scored (820) and home runs (224).  In the “bandboxes” these two teams play in, high scoring games would be expected. 

The Angels’ offense shouldn’t be taken lightly.  They don’t hit many home runs (173), but they play small ball effectively.  The Angels crossed the plate 883 times this year.  They’re also a running threat, stealing 148 bases (2nd in MLB).

The Phillies had the best team ERA out of the the three (4.16).  The Yankees’ team ERA (4.26) was tied for third in the American League.  Despite having John Lackey and acquiring Scott Kazmir, the Angels are toward the bottom of the pack in team ERA (4.45).  Both the Phillies and Yankees allowed 1.25 walks and hits per innings pitched, while the Angels allowed 1.41.  The Yankees (7.82 K/9) are more of a strikeout club than the other two.

It may be thought that the Phillies have the weakest bullpen of the three, but their bullpen ERA is equivalent to the Yankees’ 3.91.  The Angels rank much lower (4.49).  With Mariano Rivera as a closer, the back end of the Yankees bullpen is automatic.  The Phillies and Angels have had trouble in the ninth.  Brad Lidge’s story is well known, but he has been great in the postseason.  Brian Fuentes led the majors in saves, but he also blew seven and allows too many base runners.  He blew a save earlier in the ALCS, and came close to doing it again on Thursday. 

The Phillies took two out of the three against the Yankees in May.  If not for a blown save, the Phillies would have swept them.  Each game was close, with the difference coming in the late innings.  The Phillies last played the Angels during interleague play in 2008.  The Angels swept them at Citizens Bank Park.

Game six of the ALCS will be played tonight.  A New York win would end it, but a loss will send it to game seven.  No matter who the Phillies play, the World Series will not be easy.  Exciting?  You got that right!



  1. Michael

    October 24, 2009 at 9:36 am

    angels. yankees have too many weapons… but cannot hold onto leas very well

  2. joedad

    October 24, 2009 at 10:06 am

    The Yankees play in a home run hitters paradise of a stadium. The Phillies are a home run hitting team. The Yankees are a bus ride away for the players. The Yankees don’t have any sinkerballer pitchers. The Yankees have all the pressure in the world to get to the World Series and will be happy to get there.. Then they will have even more pressure to win it all. Bring on the Yankees.

  3. Mike Bishop

    October 24, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Yanks. It would be worth more to beat the better team. The Phils need to be undeniable.

  4. Keith E

    October 24, 2009 at 10:48 am

    It doesn’t matter to me who they face. I can’t see the Phils losing a 7 game series to any team. The team that they play will have their hands full!
    GO PHILS!!!

  5. gabriel

    October 24, 2009 at 10:50 am

    i think either team will be a difficult matchup… i mean, the phils lineup is stacked to the point that their 8-hole hitter (Ruiz) got on base 11-16 plate appearances during the NLCS… that’s gotta be a scary stat for either of the alcs teams to look at… we have a crowded pitching depth chart with provens and unprovens all chomping at the bit for a repeat…
    most fans wanna see the yanks so we can all say, “we BUILT our championships, you BOUGHT yours” – but hey, i’m a fan, all i give a sh!t about is repeating… i don’t really care who we beat, so long as we beat em…
    however joedad brings up a good point, from a team travel perspective, i’d much rather have the yanks…
    just my 2 cents

  6. John Russo

    October 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

    Yankees. Been a dream to see the Phillies bet the Yankees in the WS. This could seriously be a dream come true.

  7. Phan in TN

    October 24, 2009 at 11:05 am

    We need to beat the Yankme’s in the WS once and for all. Who else watched those 1950 games when we got swept?

  8. Griffin

    October 24, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Beating the Yankees would be ideal, but the Phils would be significant underdogs in that series (from a gambling perspective). I think the Phils would be a slight favorite over the Angels.

    Either way, tonight’s ALCS game is HUGE for the Phils. If the Angels can win tonight, that means CC would have to pitch game 7 tomorrow which means he can’t pitch games 1, 4 and 7 in the World Series. CC would have to start game 3 in Philly instead. Let’s hope for an Angels win tonight, at least.

  9. Matt Kwasiborski

    October 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Bring on the Yankees and Philly can psychologically emerge out of NY’s shadow. As a Philadelphian, I always felt we lived in the shadow of NY and DC to the south. I mean if you drive from DC to Philly- you rarely see the highway signs point out Philadelphia until you reach the I-495 split. All of the signs say Baltimore or NY! Sounds weird but check it out.

    Honestly, if the Angels win then they were the better team. I don’t agree that if we don’t face the Yanks and beat them then our back-to-back WS championships wouldn’t be valid. That’s crap- winning 2 is enough and if the Yanks were truly the better team then they would get here.

    CC doesn’t scare me at all. He gave up 5 runs against us in the playoffs last year. This team isn’t scared of ANYONE. Bring CC, AJ and Pettitte and watch us build a 3-0 lead!

  10. Ed R.

    October 24, 2009 at 11:47 am

    ESPN is reporting that the Phils might add Myers to the roster.

  11. beta sigma shag

    October 24, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    living in Vermont and surronded by many Yankee fans, it would make my life a lot more interesting if it were the yankees. But either team would present a unique set of problems for the PHillies, problems they could over come I think.

  12. Bruce

    October 24, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Yankees, of course. As one poster here stated..”It would be worth more to beat the better team.” And the Yankees, on paper, are that team. Statistics aside, especially with postseason described as the “second” season, it’s a dream matchup of two east coast teams vieng for bragging rights to be called the best team in baseball.

  13. Michael

    October 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Yankees. We beat them more than once this year, we can certainly do it again.

  14. Debbie

    October 24, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Yanks. I just want our Phils to beat them and get it over with. It’ll all be WERTH it !!

  15. George

    October 24, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Even if the Yanks lose the ALCS, they will still be perceived by most the idiot sportswriters as being the best team in baseball. “They just got unlucky and were victimized by bad umpiring,” will be the prevailing argument. This means that should the Phils beat the Angels, they will still be called second rate compared to the Yanks.

    Therefore, it’s probably best to face those slimy New Yorkers, and kick them soundly.

  16. Manny

    October 24, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    I want the Yankees!! Hopefully in they can beat LA in 7!

    Angels scare me more, maybe because they seem more “unknown.”

  17. Jason Bintliff

    October 24, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    The only way beating the Yankees in the World Series could be any better of a situation would be if we had to beat the Mets in the NLCS to get there… Bring on them damn Yankees.

  18. Pat Gallen

    October 24, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I really dont mind who we play either, as long as this thing goes 7 games. That means if the Yankees move on, you wont see C.C. in Game one, and possibly game two. That right there would play into the Phillies favor going against Burnett in Game 1.

    The Angels pitching staff as a whole cant compete with the Phillies, but their small ball way to play is underestimated. Constantly having guys in scoring position can kill the psyche of a pitching staff. And right now, Hamels is fragile and can ill afford to continually have men on base.

    Going to be very tough either way, anyone who says the Angels will be a walk in the park compared to the Yankees doesn’t know baseball, and I’ve been seeing that for a few days now. Both teams present match up problems. I’d say Phils over Yanks in 6, Phils over Angels in 7.

  19. karen

    October 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Coming from the viewpoint that I want to win, I would pick the angels just because I feel that the phillies are a stronger team compared to them. It would also be nice for us to honor harry while they are honoring nick.

    from a bragging standpoint, the yankees just because they are the team that has won so many times and to defeat them would shut some of the phillies haters up

  20. ryan

    October 24, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    much rather face the yankees. even though I am from springfield and It would be cool to face against the hometown boy in Mike Scioscia. but I honestly feel the Phils match up better against the Yanks than the Halos. The Angels starting pitching scares me alot more than the yankees does. After CC, they have nothing really. I’d expect the phils to tee off on Burnett and Pettite. And if CC has to start a game 7, meaning he can’t go in the series until game 3 in Philly, I’d expect them to rattle him again just like last year in the bank.

  21. Stu

    October 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I want the Phillies to have the easiest path to winning the WS…so I say “Bring on the Angels”. They struggle against lefthanders more that the Yankees. They don’t have Rivera closing and Lackey will pitch in game 7 so he won’t be available until at least game 2 of the WS. That being said beating the Yankees would be more fun. Go Phillies!

  22. Manny

    October 24, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I completely agree Pat.

    I’m gonna try and watch the games without rooting too much for either team, just hoping it’s a good 7-game series and that whoever wins it celebrates like they just won it all… only to find the Fightins waiting for them in Game 1.

  23. NJ

    October 24, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I hope the Yanks do it in 6, if it goes 7 the winner will be on the kind of high that could carry over.

    New Yankee stadium is tailored for the Phils to be able hit like they do in CBP so maybe facing the better team is the better match-up. The Angels are the exact kind of team the Phils needed to avoid whereas as good as the Yanks are, thats the kind of team the Phils can rise to the occasion and beat. We’ve beaten Sabathia in the big game before and Burnett and his K’s don’t scare me one bit. Also the Yanks have the superior closer but the Phils probably have the better performing middle relief and set-up crew which is when a lot of crooked innings could happen.

    If it is the Yanks this series is going to be won by the bats, as good as the pitching is on both sides the bats on both sides might be the two best offenses to face eachother in a long-time.

    Can’t wait fot this thing to get underway…

  24. Chuck

    October 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    Yanks….for all the above stated reasons. Why not want to face….and potentially beat….what is perceived to be the best team in the game? Two older franchises with storied histories uniquely their own….wow!!….what a great series on so many levels!!

    Bring on the Bronx…we’re not scared!!

  25. joedad

    October 24, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    The Yankees are overwhelming Vegas favorites to win the World Series even though they still haven’t clinched. The Angels would be favorites too because they have home field advantage. Guess who I am putting my money on?

  26. j reed

    October 24, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Funny, i seem to recall Our Phillies playing in this weather as welll as freezing temperatures. Since the everyone has to bend over backwards for the unholy trinity : NYY, BSX, LAA, , I think it only fitting for a double header tomorrow.

  27. Chris.I

    October 24, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    It would be too easy if we faced the Angels. We need to go straight to the top, and pull the Yankees off the ladder, because their days of reigning supreme are over. Personally I think the Dodgers could of beaten’ the hell out of the Yanks. I think the NL is a tougher leauge than the AL. No reason to be scared over the Yankees.

  28. Tracey

    October 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    It would be amazing to beat the Yankees, but on a personal level… I have several friends who are Yankees fans, and I don’t want to have to deal with the crap I go through with my Mets fan friend. It becomes awkward to celebrate the Phils victory, because they take it as a personal affront. I don’t want to have to feel uncomfortable wearing my 2009 World Champions t-shirt, going to the parade, etc., the way I did with my Mets fan friend every time the Phils beat them. So on that level, I’d rather beat the Angels. But it would be amazing to beat the Yankees…

  29. ray

    October 24, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    You guys gotta see this awesome phillies youtube post..brilliant!!!

  30. j reed

    October 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Ray – cool youtube post.

  31. Harry Kalas

    October 24, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Yanks. I fear a potential emotional let down if we get the Angels. From fans and players. The Angels would have a ton of mo. coming off a potential 3-1 series deft. Though they would probably be tried as hell. Joe Girardi is a little arrogant S.O.B. Mike Socc is a much better manger overall and already has a ring. I’ll take G.I. Joe G. and the Yanks….

  32. Harry Kalas

    October 24, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    Plus Mike Scocc. is a former Dodger and a Philly guy(Upper Darby)… He is also a Penn State Grad… After last year, I’m kinda of sick of the whole “Manager is a local” thing…..

  33. Harry Kalas

    October 24, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Oh, and then there’s Sarge’s son… too weird………….

  34. j reed

    October 25, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Yeah I forgot about Gary Matthews Jr.

  35. ray

    October 25, 2009 at 1:52 am

    Tracey would your friends celebrate if their team won? I think so, same with your mets friend. If it affects them that much that it would ruin your friendship then they are jackasses. I worked with guys who weren’t even my friends who were fans of different teams, we talked crap and all, but at the end of the day we worked together and got along. Your friends are a bunch of tight asses if they act they way if you had your championship shirt on or were happy your own friggin team won. Show your loyalty and be proud, same as they would

  36. TrappedInNYC

    October 25, 2009 at 9:16 am

    walked around NYC yesterday AM with my bright red “Phillies 2008 World Champions” sweatshirt on…either I got a high five from other Phillies fans or a handshake and a “let the best team win” from Yankees fans…all the Yankees fans I talked were civil and recognized the Phillies are a force to be reckoned with and looked forward to the challenge…got me even more pumped for the series

  37. GWFightinsFan

    October 25, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Is Victorino hurt??

  38. Kevin

    October 25, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Yanks, as long as they win in 7. It’s the same scenario as last year; Rays were up big, Red Sox almost came back but ultimately didn’t. If the Sox would have won 4 straight, we would have been in serious trouble. They would have had all the momentum. But the fact that they took the Rays to seven and lost killed momentum for either team.

    Burn CC, kill their confidence. Bring on the Yanks

  39. Tiajuana

    October 25, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Angels. The weather will be better in Los ANgeles and so will Pedro Martinez. Plus I would love to see the Angels stick it to the Yankees

  40. Andrew

    October 25, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    The yankees would be a much easier team to beat. they are trotting petite out tongiht? The only pitcher worse is Kazmir. I have 0 fewar of the Yankees. I also think the angels SP and BP are very suspicious. So its whoever. If we get the angels to win tongiht making the yanks burn sabathia tomorrow would be a nice thing though.

  41. Leon

    October 26, 2009 at 12:02 am

    Looks like my Angels just didn’t have enough to beat the Yankees THIS year. But man do I hate the Yankees and their bandwagon fans. You’ve got a Halo fan rooting for you all in the World Series! Go Phillies!

  42. Sam

    October 26, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Well, we know now. DOn’t underestimate the Yanks, but keep in mind most sports writers will overlook the Yank’s 3 man rotation and insist the Yankees will win this one easily

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