Ruiz v. Hernandez/ Hanigan
Comment: Ruiz is better with the bat, but Hanigan and Hernandez are both superior with the glove. I'm guessing Baker goes with Hernandez all series; Manuel will certainly stick with Ruiz. That may mean the difference in the series. Hopefully, Phillips, Stubbs, and company can run on Ruiz and his 29% CS percentage.
Votto v. Howard
Comment: How ironic would it be for Votto to win the series against the Phillies? Manuel might not like it, but, hey, he's a moron for picking Howard instead of Votto for the ASB roster anyway, right? Right.
Phillips v. Utley
Comment: It's close, largely because Utley hasn't been phenomenal this year. It would have been even closer (perhaps even) had Phillips not been injured and struggled the past three weeks of the season.
Cabrera v. Rollins
Comment: Even though it's been his worst year statistically, Rollins is still head and shoulders better than OCab. It's not close, nor should it be.
Rolen v. Polanco
Comment: As large as the divide between Cabrera and Rollins. Rolen has been vitally important to Cincinnati. He needs to be the Rolen of the first half for the Reds to have any chance in the series.
Gomes v. Ibanez
Comment: Barely. Ibanez can't catch up to a fastball anymore and God knows he's had problems in the field, but Gomes grades slightly worse across the board.
Stubbs v. Victorino
Comment: As close as the left field battle is, this one may be closer. Stubbs holds the edge power and obp by a total of less than 20 points. Both are super fast, and both play really well in the field.
Bruce v. Werth
Comment: Werth's offensive numbers are much better, but Bruce's D wins out. It'll be really interesting to see if Bruce continues to rake, or if he struggles against the hurlers Philly throws at him.
Comment: By a big margin, actually. Sadly, benches won't matter much in a short series with days off between.
Volquez v. Halladay
Arroyo v. Oswalt
Cueto v. Hamels
Comment: Ouch, and it's not really close at all. Volquez could have a monster game. Halladay is likely to. Oswalt has been Walter Johnson since being dealt. Arroyo doesn't throw as hard as Johnson, and Johnson's 138. And dead. Hamels and Cueto is closest, but Hamels experience and dominance in past playoffs pushes him past the young Red hurler.
Comment: The Reds have some monster arms in the pen. Bailey, Masset, Rhodes, Bray, and especially Chapman might mean the difference in a game or two. Chapman in particular could be a HUGE part of the series.