The 2009 World Series will mark the first fall classic for this blog, so to honor this event we brought the whole team out to make their bold predictions for the series.
But the Rays are no NL team: they have a stronger overall bullpen than Philadelphia (who have Lidge et rien) even if the closer position may be falling to Price in the WS. And they have as good or better hitters at nearly every position, guys who can get to anyone except maybe Hamels. I give the Rays' starters a big edge once you get past the Phillies' ace.
The Phillies are better rested, but obviously that didn't help last year's Rockies. Two off days is more than enough for the Rays to recover.
The Rays have been on a run all year, have been on the verge of losing it for most of the last month or two, and they haven't yet. I don't think they lose it now.
Like the Rockies last year who had a payroll 66% below league average, the Rays arrive at the final stage having a payroll 50% below major league average--and one fifth the size of the long-idle, much-maligned Yankees. Unlike the Rockies, the Rays will prevail, taking the series in 5 games. Where the Rockies were overdependent on their thin-air hitting, the Rays have a sturdier foundation in their pitching: a young rotation and an experienced bullpen capped by a talented rising star in Price.
In stark contrast to the Twins, the Phillies slug 40 points higher against LHP. Unfortunately, the Rays rotation features just one lefty in Kazmir. Righties Shields and Garza will combine for three wins. Your World Series MVP: James Shields (and not the semi-transient 19th century senator from Minnesota)
PS. Is anybody else sick of EVERY ANALYST saying the key part to the Delmon for Garza trade was Jason Bartlett because he "shores up the Tampa defense?" He is terrible at short! He led all AL ss in errors for the Twins in 2007, and seems to make errors in every other game in the playoffs! I just don't get it, but it is nice to see two former Twins playing key roles in the playoffs.
Hmm...I'll roll with it.