Thursday, March 13, 2008

Divisional Round Preview - Helena vs. Anaheim

Lars the Greek - Cobb Times Herald

Helena Hellraisers (#5 seed) vs. Anahiem Sharks (#1 seed)

Helena has a lineup of crushers, led by perennial MVP snub Orber Olivo. Thomas Hill has also been very strong this year, and Hee Martin, Freddy Feller, and Willis Roth have also been qutie good. The Anaheim lineup is as strong or stronger than the Hellraisers, if not as powerful. Ernie Jenkins, Kory Arnold, reigning MVP Luke Henly, and Alan Peterson have been the bane of many pitching staffs this season. Both are very good, it's a toss up.
Advantage: Even

Rotation and Bullpen:
Helena is led by ace Brian Wells, but has also gotten strong performances from Ray Strickland and Richard Aoki. Wendell Sexon has potential as evidenced by his no hitter earlier in the season, but has been inconsistent. The pen is anchored by the always excellent Bobby Flores. Anaheim has Cy Young lock Olmedo Contreras leading the way for the Sharks, and is closely followed by fellow 20 game winner Henry Perez, and 19 game winner Shayne Campbell. Randall Harvey hasn't been as good as Flores, but has still been excellent this season. Having Contreras on the staff puts Anaheim over the top.
Advantage: Anaheim

Anaheim has made the World Series the last two seasons, and racked up the best record in the American League this year. They are solid top to bottom, and always seem to get it done. Helena had a very good year, but lost out to their division rivals Anaheim for the division title yet again.
Advantage: Anaheim

Pick: Anaheim in Four. Anaheim took it to the Hellraisers during the regular season, and there doesn't appear to be any reason why that won't continue.

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