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Would You Rather: Diamondbacks or Brewers?

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    NEWSLETTERS

    When the final out was recorded in Sunday's loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, it was the last look the Phillies would get at any of their potential National League Division Series opponents.

    With six games in the books against the National League West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks, and seven against the N.L.-leading Brewers, the Phillies have seen all that they need to against one of their likely opponents in the first round of the playoffs. While there is plenty of season left, the likely scenario is that the Phillies will face either one of these two teams, and now the question is: Who would you rather face?

    If the season ended today, the Phillies would host the Milwaukee Brewers in the five-game series (in what would be a rematch of the 2008 NLDS), but the possibility exists that the Phillies could face off against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Philadelphia.

    Both teams match up well against the Phillies, as both have enough starting pitching to compete, as well as an offense that could make things tough on the Philadelphia starters.

    When the Phillies visited Arizona in April, they lost the first two games of the three-game set, as the D'Backs went to work against both Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt, before getting shut down by Cole Hamels in the third game of the series. When they came to town last month, the lone Phillies loss came in the series opener, when Roy Halladay failed to protect the lead in the ninth inning.

    Offensively, the Diamondbacks are anchored by by MVP candidate Justin Upton, and feature the likes of centerfielder Chris Young, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, and third baseman Ryan Roberts that help to power the engine of what has been the fifth best offense in the National League.

    On the other side of the ball, they will hand the ball to staff ace Ian Kennedy, who leads the National League with 19 wins and features a 2.90 ERA. After Kennedy, they've got a pair of youngsters in Daniel Hudson (16-9, 3.41) and Josh Collmenter (9-8, 3.10), as well as veteran Joe Saunders (10-12, 3.88), with closer J.J. Putz (38 saves, 2.45) at the back end of the bullpen.

    Against the Brewers this season, the Phillies similarly lost two of three in April -- this time at home -- but took three of four against the Brewers in Milwaukee to finish the season series with a 4-3 record.

    Their offense features a handful of heavy hitters, including MVP candidates Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, as well as second baseman Rickie Weeks and outfielders Corey Hart and Nyjer Morgan. Their offense, to date, puts up 4.37 runs per game, which is just better than league average.

    From a pitching standpoint, the Brewers are much more equipped to handle the Phillies, with a starting rotation that consists of 2009 American League Cy Young winner Zack Greinke (14-6, 3.93), Yovani Gallardo (15-10, 3.71), Shaun Marcum (12-6, 3.25) and former Phillie Randy Wolf (12-9, 3.44).

    It's one of the better rotations in the league, and it's anchored by John Axford, who has saved 41 games to the tune of a 2.19 ERA in 2011.

    Both teams have enough offense and pitching, and the first round of the playoffs tends to be a crapshoot, but it appears that the Phillies would have an easier time against the Arizona Diamondbacks, given that their pitching, while solid, is the weaker of the two teams.

    What say you, Phillies fans? Who would you rather see in the first round of the playoffs? The Milwaukee Brewers or the Arizona Diamondbacks?