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Biggest winner in rainout: the Phillies

So, let's try this again, shall we?

After persistent rain forced the postponement of Game 6 of the ALCS on Saturday night, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels will reconvene Sunday night at Yankee Stadium, with lefties Andy Pettitte (whom Boz wrote about here) and Joe Saunders (a product of West Springfield High and Virginia Tech) squaring off.

Any discussion of the winners from the rainout would have to include the Angels, who, should they win Sunday night to force a Game 7, would then have ace John Lackey available to start Game 7 on three days' rest, and Pettitte himself, whom the Yankees chose to keep on the mound for Game 6, despite the availability of ace CC Sabathia on full rest.

But I can't help suspect that no one was feeling better about the rainout than the NL-champion Philadelphia Phillies, who are getting themselves rested and healed, in preparation for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night, while the Yankees and Angels beat each other up.

And here's what would really make the Phillies happy: a Game 7.

I'd go so far as to say an Angels victory Sunday night in Game 6, thus forcing a Game 7 on Monday night, would make the Phillies overwhelming favorites in the World Series.

Why? Because if there's a Game 7, it would almost certainly be Sabathia vs. Lackey. The survivor of that duel would then be unavailable in the World Series until Game 3.

Let's say the Yankees win that Game 7. More than likely, they would be opening the World Series with A.J. Burnett (facing Phillies ace Cliff Lee) in Game 1 and Chad Gaudin (or possibly Pettitte on three days' rest) in Game 2. (The Phillies as yet have not announced whether Pedro Martinez or Cole Hamels will start Game 2.) Obviously, anything can happen in those games. Cliff Lee is capable of losing. Chad Gaudin is capable of winning. But it is quite conceivable the Yankees could lose the first two games of the series at home, then have to go to Philly's Citizens Bank Park and win two of three just to carry the series back to Yankee Stadium.

If you're the Yankees, you desperately want to win in Game 6 and not get into those sorts of scenarios.

By Dave Sheinin  |  October 25, 2009; 2:36 PM ET
 
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Next: The Yankees' World Series rotation problem

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