Pitching should dominate
Championship series

October 17, 2001 2:31 AM
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As we go to press on Monday the National League Championship Series is set with the American League Divisional Series wrapping up with a pair of game fives in New York and Seattle. The most noteworthy aspect of the Playoffs was the outstanding pitching performances turned in by many of the starters on all eight teams.

So much, that the ”˜under’ went 11-4-1 through games of last Sunday.

NATIONAL

Atlanta is in great position after sweeping Houston in three games. The Braves have three days of rest to set up their rotation of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Burkett in the first three games. Contrast that to Arizona, which was pushed to the full five games by St. Louis and having just one day of rest before the series begins.

The ”˜under’ will clearly be the way to look throughout this series. Atlanta is the choice to win in six games.

AMERICAN

Oakland vs. Seattle: This could be a seven game series with Oakland rating the edge on the strength of their starting pitching although Seattle rates a solid edge in the bullpen. This series should be dominated by UNDERS especially if the posted total is no lower than 8. The pick is OAKLAND in 6.

Seattle vs. NY Yankees: The Mariners are the epitome of a team. They don’t dominate in any phase of the game but are solid in every phase. Their bullpen is amongst the best in baseball and they are strong on defense and in running the bases. The Yankees need no resume other than three straight Championships and four in the last five seasons to indicate their strength.

The UNDER will be the best play in this series, especially at totals of 8 or higher. The dog is also worth a play in every game regardless of pitching matchup. In the final analysis the edge belongs to the Yankees on the strength of their experience and ability to deliver in big games. The pick is the YANKEES in 6 to reach the World Series.