Friday, September 30, 2011

NL Playoff Preview: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Arizona and Milwaukee: Outside Chances

Even though they were easy division winners, neither the Brewers nor Diamondbacks are being given much chance of advancing to the World Series, though both teams have elements of championship style.

Fielder: Awesome
Power to all fields.
Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun of the Brewers combined for 71 homers and 231 RBI. Braun has been mentioned as an MVP candidate, and deservedly so, with a .332 batting average, 33 bombs, 111 RBI and 33 steals. Fielder, possessive of tremendous power, is a threat to go long whenever he's at the plate.

For the Diamondbacks, outfielder Justin Upton, brother of Tampa Bay's B.J., is the only player with superstar appeal, hitting .289, with 32 homers and 88 RBI in a breakout year.

Kennedy: 21 wins
Both teams have solid starting pitching and good bullpens, so this series could be the most exciting from a fan's standpoint.

Milwaukee will go with Yovani Gallardo in game one, while the D'Backs start 21-game winner Ian Kennedy. Gallardo was 17-10 with a 3.52 ERA and 207 strikeouts, while Kennedy matched triple crown winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers to lead the league in wins, and was one of the league's best starters with a 2.88 ERA and 198 Ks.

Milwaukee has home field advantage in the 2-2-1 format for the short series in which anything could, and probably will, happen.

Baseball fanatics would be well advised to pay close attention to this series, which opens on Saturday, as the Brewers and Diamondbacks may have the most complete teams in what is essentially a team sport.

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