Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2008 World Series preview and prediction

The World Series begins tonight in Tampa Bay as the Phillies send Cole Hamels to the mound to duel with Scott Kazmir. This series might not be the ratings juggernaut that FOX would have hoped for but it should be an interesting series for serious fans of baseball.

When you think about it, the Rays play an NL style while the Phillies play more of an AL style. Tampa will steal, hit-and-run and try to make things happen, while the Phils are content with letting their guys hit home runs and move around the bases one hit at a time.

Granted, after my original postseason predictions had a Dodgers-Angels World Series, I'm in no position to prognosticate. But here I go again...

I'll take the Rays in 6.

They showed resiliency holding off the Red Sox after a monstrous collapse in Game 5 of the ALCS. They have power and speed on offense and play great defense, with BJ Upton emerging as one of MLB's premier center fielders. The Rays starting pitching has been tremendous all year long and they may have a new closer in David Price.

That's not to say the Phillies don't have a good pitching staff, with Hamels the ace and Lidge the closer. Their offense, too, has power in Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. But I think the Rays have it all together and the momentum is on their side. Let's not forget that the Phils haven't played in almost a week and Tampa Bay has home-field advantage.

This is an evenly matched series that should result in some entertaining baseball, something we haven't seen in the World Series the last few years.

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