NLCS Game 1 Prediction

After what seems like an endless break, the MLB Playoffs continue tonight. The Phillies and Dodgers will battle it out in Chavez 1st1 Ravine to see who can draw first blood in this series.

Dodgers’ Manager, Joe Torre, has made an interesting decision, going with 21-year-old Clayton Kershaw to start against the Phillies in the opening game. Opposing Kershaw for the Phillies, will be Cole Hamels, who is only 25 in his own right. However, Hamels is last season’s World Series MVP and clearly capable of pitching in important games.

Kershaw is going to need to have one of those career-boosting games against Hamels if he wants his team to win game 1. He needs to be the guy who infuses this team and the home crowd with the energy required to beat a Hamels-led Phillies team. If he has an average game, I just don’t see it being enough for a victory.

I say this because, all things being equal, Hamels is the better pitcher. On a given night, he is the pitcher that will give his team the best chance to win. Kershaw, on the other hand, is good, but he is not yet proven.

I feel that the move to start Kershaw is hit or miss and nothing in between.

He will either have a brilliant start that gives the Dodgers the head start that they would love to have, or he will go fewer than 6 innings with his team trailing when he comes out.

To me, the move by Torre shows that he is in this series to win it, not to NOT LOSE it. He is going to take the necessary risks in order to come out on top, and if he fails, so be it. At least he gave it his best shot.

I, personally, do not think that Kershaw will have a good game. He might come out early with some great stuff, but by the 5th inning, when the game is in a flow, he will start to unwind. Hamels, conversely, should have a monster game on his way to a game 1 victory, and the Phillies should be 1 game closer to the World Series by the time this one’s over.

PREDICTION: Phillies 5-2

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