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For the Giants, end of the line

The Giants, like the Rangers in their series against the Rays, were opportunistic in their series victory over the Braves, capitalizing on seven Atlanta errors in three close victories. As much as any baseball fan, I appreciate the attitude and the effort of teams like the Rangers and the Giants. Vladimir Guerrero swiping home while the Rays weren’t looking during Game 5 was one of my favorite moments of these playoffs thus far. However, all the spunk, grit, and luck in the world are not going to close the gap between the Giants and these Philadelphia Phillies. At the end of the regular season, Roy Halladay noted that playing on a contending team like the Phillies “was fun, but it’s only going to get funner.” In the spirit of Doc, I’ll say that the Giants have already enjoyed their funnest times.

Prediction: Phillies in 4.

—Zach Hynes

Giants hardly a threat

With the Phillies playing solidly and sweeping the Reds, none of the other teams left in the postseason stands a chance against them if they can keep up their level pf play. The Giants, however, do pose a threat with their pitching. Lincecum, Sanchez, and Cain will put up a good fight against the more experienced Oswalt, Hamels, and Halladay, but at the end of the day, the Phillies will bring home the runs. On offense, the Giants just cannot match up. In fact, during the series against the Braves, the Giants sluggers, maybe except the lead-off man Buster Posey, looked nothing less than sluggish. On the other hand, look for the middle of Philadelphia’s order with Howard and Werth to heat up this series. San Francisco is going to have to rely on their bullpen, which might win them one or two games, but that won’t be enough to stop the powerhouse Phillies from winning the series.

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

—Nidharshan Anadasivam

Strong pitching tips balance in Phillies’ favor

Wow, how good are these pitching matchups? You’d probably give the edge to the Phillies’ “H2O”: Halladay-Oswalt-Hamels, but the Giants’ rotation of Lincecum-Cain-Sanchez are almost just as good. (And now they even have Madison Bumgarner throwing well!) Still, the Phillies are likely going with a 3-man rotation, and I can’t see any of those guys losing twice.

The Giants will have the edge in the bullpen, but the Phillies starters will all pitch deep into games, denying San Francisco that advantage. Though the Phillies offense has a lot more name value than actual production, they’re still more dangerous than the Giants lineup that struggled to score runs against the Braves (even with so much help from the poor Braves defense). The Giants’ pitching will try to keep them in it, but their offense just won’t be able to do enough against the Phillies’ starters.

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

—Yifan Cao

Phillies are the experienced team

The young, upstart Giants had an incredible season and just defeated Bobby Cox’s Atlanta Braves. But, experience will trump momentum in the NLCS — the Phillies are now veterans of the spotlight. I have faith that Tim Lincecum will be able to shut the Phils down in at least one of his starts, and either Matt Cain or newcomer Madison Bumgarner, the youngest Giant to ever win a playoff game (at age 21) can steal a game from the Phillies. However, the experience of Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, and the rest of the Phillies will carry them to the World Series.

Prediction: Phillies in 6.

—Russell Spivak

Giants have weak offense

This series features two of the best rotations in baseball, and Game 1 will be will be a must-watch for every baseball fan. Roy Halladay, who threw a no-hitter in his postseason debut last week, faces Tim Lincecum, who tossed his own two-hit, 14-strikeout complete-game shutout in the Divisional Series. The Giants will win the series opener behind another dominating performance from Lincecum, but that will be their only victory. The Giants’ weak offense is completely outclassed by that of the Phillies; they needed help from the Braves’ defense to squeak into the Championship Series, and will continue to struggle to produce runs. San Francisco’s bullpen is superior, but won’t be able to hold leads if their offense can’t score enough runs to take the lead in the first place. Philadelphia will cruise into the World Series and contnue to build its dynasty.

Prediction: Phillies in 5.

—David Zhu

Phillies are on fire

The Phillies, who won the World Series in 2008, are going into this series on fire. They have won 16 out of their last 20 games, including a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds in the Division Series. Phillies pitchers Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels both shut out the Reds in their respective games, with Halladay even throwing a no-hitter. The Giants, however also have a fantastic bullpen, which means the games will probably be close and low scoring. Whichever team commits fewer errors will win the series. That being said, experience will play a big role in the outcomes of each game. Who better then to win the series, than the team who has won the NLCS two years in a row?

Prediction: Phillies in 5

—Carlos Greaves