Heading into the World Series between the Yankees and Phillies, beginning Wednesday on FOX, MLB.com looks at the position-by-position matchups and dissects which team has the advantage.

2009 Phillies Starters

Cliff Lee, LHP (14-13, 3.22 ERA)

Pedro Martinez, RHP (5-1, 3.63 ERA)

Cole Hamels, LHP (10-11, 4.32 ERA)

J.A. Happ, LHP (12-4, 2.93 ERA)

Joe Blanton, RHP (12-8, 4.05 ERA)

Isn't this the reason the Phillies traded for Lee? To get them back to the World Series and into a position to win a second consecutive title?

So far, the postseason has gone swimmingly for the Phillies, due in large part to how well Lee has pitched. He's 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in three playoff starts and has allowed only 14 hits in 24 1/3 innings.

In short, he's been dominant. And in a seven-game series, he conceivably could get three starts.

For what it's worth, Lee was 4-4 with a 5.02 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees while with the Indians.

Hamels hasn't looked much like the pitcher who carried the Phillies through the playoffs in 2008. Through three postseason starts in '09, the lefty has a 6.75 ERA.

The combination of two left-handed starters in Lee and Hamels could pose some tough matchups for a Yankees team that includes left-handed-hitting Johnny Damon, Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui and the many switch-hitters in the lineup.

Then there's veteran right-hander Martinez, who was stunning in a start against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series, tossing seven scoreless innings in a no-decision, proving that even though he hadn't pitched much recently, he's still plenty sharp.

Beyond, Lee, Hamels and Martinez, manager Charlie Manuel can turn to righty Joe Blanton (4.66 ERA in the postseason, including one start) and rookie J.A. Happ, who, like Blanton, has struggled in the postseason.

All in all, this is a group of strike throwers who won't pile up a lot of strikeouts. These guys pitch to contact and benefit when their defense is playing well behind them. That's going to be of the utmost importance against a dangerous Yankees lineup.

2009 Yankees Starters

CC Sabathia, LHP (19-8, 3.37 ERA)

A.J. Burnett, RHP (13-9, 4.04 ERA)

Andy Pettitte, LHP (14-8, 4.16 ERA)

Chad Gaudin, RHP (2-0, 3.43 ERA)

What's not to like about what Sabathia has done in these playoffs? He's 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA and pitched the Yankees to a Game 4 victory over the Angels in the American League Championship Series with a gem, allowing one run in eight innings.

You've got to wonder how many Lee-Sabathia matchups there could be in this series.

Sabathia has been a rock for the Yankees all season and certainly a nice return on a heavy financial investment (seven years, $161 million). This is what they're paying him for, the kind of starts he's had in the postseason.

Another free agent, Burnett, has pitched well in the postseason, though he's found it hard to get a victory. Burnett, who inked a five-year contract worth $82.5 million this past offseason, hasn't looked like someone making his first go in the playoffs in a career that has spanned 11 seasons.

Burnett allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings in a no-decision in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Angels that the Yankees won in extra innings. He's got a power arm, and that could be a handful for the Phillies' hitters.

No stranger to the big stage, Pettitte owns the all-time record with 16 career postseason wins and also tops the charts for most innings pitched and starts in the playoffs.

The left-handed Pettitte could neutralize the running game the Phillies love with their jackrabbits, Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Not to be overlooked are Sabathia's slide step and Burnett's improved pickoff move to first base.

Chances are New York manager Joe Girardi will lean heavily on the trio of Sabathia, Burnett and Pettitte during the World Series, even if it means going with at least one of them on short rest, instead of turning to Gaudin for a start.


Experts' picks

Note: Pitcher evaluations based on a 100-point scale, factoring in all pitching statistics, experience, recent performances and moxie. Click on each expert to see all of their selections for the 2009 World Series

2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Mike Siano
MLB.com
93 85 85 80 75 95 87 90 70
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 90.7, Phillies 88.7
Analysis: Yankees have a big edge over the Phillies here. The dropoff from Lee could be fatal for the Phils, whereas the Yankees from Sabtahia to Burnett/Pettitte isn't as dramatic. It will be a race to get into the bullpens in games not started by a former Indian, and the Yankees should win that battle.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Cory Schwartz
MLB.com
86 78 81 75 72 92 79 82 66
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 84.3, Phillies 81.7
Analysis: The Yankees will likely stick with a three-man rotation, with Sabathia getting three starts if needed. Lee has nearly been Sabathia's match thus far, but the Phillies' rotation is unsettled behind him, as Hamels has not been able to build on last year's postseason dominance.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Lyle Spencer
MLB.com
95 80 90 80 75 95 85 85 70
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 88.3, Phillies 88.3
Analysis: Sabathia is pitching like a man on a mission. Pedro is the wild card here. I see him coming up big in this series, one of the great pressure pitchers ever.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Ken Gurnick
MLB.com
90 80 80 75 75 90 80 85 70
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 85, Phillies 83.3
Analysis: Lee and Sabathia are pretty much a push as far as aces, so the difference will be in the deeper matchups. Hamels was very beatable against the Dodgers, but Martinez pitched like he had found the fountain of youth. Pettitte is a proven big-game pitcher, while Burnett is the wild card.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Jim Duquette
MLB.com
100 80 80 70 80 100 80 90 70
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 90, Phillies 86.7
Analysis: The ability of CC to pitch on 3 days' rest with quality stuff, plus the experience and ability of Pettitte, gives the Yankees the nod over the Phils. Despite Lee's effectiveness, there are too many questions after him.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Mitch Williams
MLB Network
91 86 83 84 85 93 88 88 NR
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 89.7, Phillies 86.7
Analysis: The rotations are closer than people think. I think it's a wash. It's the right decision to start Pedro in Game 2.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Joe Sheehan
Baseball Prospectus
94 88 90 88 88 95 87 90 72
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 90.7, Phillies 90.7
Analysis: Sabathia has the dough, but Lee matches up nicely with him, and the Phillies have the edge, overall, in the games Sabathia doesn't start. Hamels may be underrated due to recent performances, and is a sleeper candidate for a big World Series.
2009 starters
Panelist Lee Martinez Hamels Happ Blanton Sabathia Burnett Pettitte Gaudin
Hal Bodley
MLB.com
92 84 81 81 76 93 87 90 69
Top 3 SP Avg. Rating: Yankees 90, Phillies 85.7
Analysis: The Lee-Sabathia match is virtually even, after that the Yankees have the edge with their rotation. The unknown is whether Martinez can continue his amazing comeback and if Hamels can return to the form that made him World Series MVP in 2008. And, how will Sabathia pitch with three days' rest?