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Five reasons why the Rangers are a lock to advance

It may not be a particularly bold move to declare the Rangers the certain favorite to advance to the World Series, but there is still some hope among Yankee fans after the strong showing in Game 5. Here’s five reasons why the Rangers will close out the series

1. Cliff Lee
If the Rangers fail to win Game 6, they have the safety of Cliff Lee pitching at home in Game 7. We all know about his ridiculous performance this post-season and astronomical K/BB ratio. With Mark Teixeira out, Lee will continue to improve upon the .612 OPS he held the Yankees to during the regular season.

2. Homefield Advantage
The Rangers were a stunning 51-30 (that’s .630 baseball) at home during the regular season and didn’t even muster a .500 record on the road. Against the average team in random circumstances, they would have an 85% chance to win one of the two games. This went a bit by the wayside in the ALDS and in Game 1, but you can’t keep down such a good home team too long.

3. Josh Hamilton
Some wondered whether Hamilton could be brought back to speed quick enough for the Rangers in the playoffs. The long series against the Rays helped him out and he has found his swing, completely mashing the ball. His career .991 OPS at the Ballpark in Arlington is surpassed by his season 1.044 OPS. If Hamilton is in form, it will be hard to keep the Rangers off the scoreboard.

4. Baserunning
The Rangers have excelled in baserunning this postseason and the Yankees haven’t slowed them down a bit. So far in the series, they have 9 stolen bases, many directly contributing to runs. The only way to stop them is to keep them off the bases, something the Yankees didn’t even do in their Game 5 win.

5. Yankees hitters
While Robinson Cano has woken up to become the Yankees best hitter both during the regular season and playoffs, the rest of the Yankees have been a disappointment, aside from Curtis Granderson. With Mark Teixeira out, they will all need to wake up soon to be able to win this seires. Unfortunately, they’ll have to do so against Colby Lewis and Cliff Lee, something I don’t see happening.

Final Verdict
The Rangers will win Game 6 to close out the series. Bring on Halladay/Lincecum to face Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the World Series.

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