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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MVB's World Series Predictions

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.


Winner: Tampa Bay - 5 games  MVP: Scott Kazmir

Major League Baseball's feel good story will be feeling good after a quick 5 game series. The Rays not only represent the superior American League, but they had to battle a great Red Sox club through 7 games as 
well as prove over the course of 162 games that they were for real in the toughest division in baseball despite having a meager payroll. 

Great to see former Twins Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett, and Grant Balfour all play key roles for this young club. The star of this series though is the franchise leader in wins, Scott Kazmir. Kazmir pitches 2 gems to win the MVP. Upton and Longoria both hit 3 homeruns each.

Brett Werner

Winner: Tampa Bay - 6 games  MVP: BJ Upton

Just like the Twins have Mauer as a great batter at an otherwise weak batting position, the Phillies have Utley and J-Ro at weak batting positions in the field (to go with Burrell and Howard, not to mention Victorino who is having a great postseason). This gives them a dramatic advantage against other NL teams.

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. 

Mark Werner

Winner: Tampa Bay - 5 games     MVP: James Shields

The Phillies may have a strong, bopping offense but, if their inter-league games are any preview, they will struggle against the Rays rotation. Although it is a small sample size, the Phillies batted just .220 against the American League this year for an OPS of .682. The Phillies lost every series against AL teams, finishing 4-11. On the flip side, the Rays were 12-6 against the NL. While the Phillies were busy getting shut-out by the Rangers, the Rays were sweeping the Cubs.

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)


Winner: Tampa Bay - 7 games  MVP: Evan Longoria

As college basketball analyst Dickie V says, "They got the big M.O. baby!" M.O. referring to momentum, and its ironic Dick Vitale is arguably the biggest Tampa Bay fan on this planet. Therefore I gotta say the Rays win this series in 7 games. The World Series MVP goes to boy wonder Evan Longoria.

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.

Dain TePoel

Winner: Philadelphia - 7 games MVP: Cole Hamels

I hate to say it, but I want to be the guy who takes a chance on the Underdog in this situation....But really, the Phillies? World Series Champs? They haven't played a game in a long time, especially by Wednesday.

Hmm...I'll roll with it.

Feel free to leave your predictions for series winner and MVP in the comments section.

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