Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who is the Team of Destiny?

Both the Dodgers and the Angels survive improbable odds in their Division Series matchups by sweeping their opponents. The Dodgers have lost 5 out of 7 against the Cardinals and have played poorly at Busch Stadium. The Angels have not won a postseason series against the Red Sox.

But with them slaying their demons, who is the team of destiny? A couple of seasons ago, both the Angels and the Dodgers were picked by Sports Illustrated as the two World Series finalists, but that wasn't close to happening.

The Angels had notable injuries and lost Teixeira to the Yankees. They also lost Nick Adenhart in a tragic automobile accident and dedicated this season to him. They have really done well due to the great play of their lesser known players such as Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera. They have also survived a lot of injuries to their pitching staff and even a struggling bullpen. In the first 2 games against the Red Sox in the ALDS, they have held them to 1 run total.

The Dodgers started their season with high expectations and backed it up by winning their first 13 home games, a MLB record. They have a knack for keeping it close and winning in dramatic fashion, with their 12 walk-off victories. Though they struggled after the all star break and before the playoffs, they quickly found their stride in the final series against the Rockies and neutralized the Cardinals. How fitting was it that the Dodgers were able to walkoff in Game 2 of the NLDS? They haven't won back-to-back NL West Division titles since 77 and 78, both years they went to the World Series and were defeated by the Yankess. They haven't finished the season this many games above .500 since 1988.

There are a lot of similarities with this Dodgers team with those of successful ones in the past. This one might even be more well-rounded than even the WS Champs of 1988.

Postseason baseball always has a lot of stories and superstitions. Now, who is the team of destiny this year?