League Championship Preview
        Good pitching stops good hitting. That's the way the Divisional Series went this year, as suddenly it was 1968 all over again in three of the series. The Astros and the Rangers, the best hitting teams in their respective leagues, scored 9 runs in 7 games, and are now Texas two-stepping their way back home.
        Where does this leave us for the LCS? Much as I'd love to pick against the Yankees, I just don't see it. Wells is virtually unhittable in the Stadium, Pettite looked sharp, and Cone is as tough a post-season pitcher as there is. Add El Duque to the mix and you have a scary rotation. The Indians are truly undermanned in that department, unless Wright does what he did last year and they find a way to win two others. Even if he is sharp in game one, I'd be amazed if he could outpitch Wells -- as Randy Johnson will tell you, even strong pitching may not be enough at this level. Still, the Tribe can hit, so they have to be given a slim chance. Frankly, I'll be surprised if they get back to the Stadium. Yankees in 5.
        The Braves and Padres might be interesting. Kevin Brown actually scares the Braves, and the good start by Hitchcock in the Astro series truly has to give them some optimism. That said, the Braves have pitching depth and far more hitting depth as well. If they remember to keep the ball away from Leyritz -- the ghost of World Series past -- they should prevail. Make it the Braves in 7.
        I'm a little nervous picking both favorites, but this has been an odd year, to put it mildly, so maybe the Yankees and Braves head-to-head for "team of the '90's" makes sense.

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