Tampa Bay Rays vs Philadelphia Phillies
Cole Hamels vs @ Scott Kazmir
Hamels has been lights out this postseason, 3-0 with an era in the low 1’s. The Phillies are hot coming off a 4-1 NLCS over the Dodgers, and are hardly phased that much of the sports nation has the Rays as the favorite. With consecutive mvps, and quite likely a third on the way in Ryan Howard, the Phillies match the Rays in team speed, power, and ability to defend. Hamels and Myers stand strong atop the rotation, but it falls off quickly giving the Rays the clear edge in starting pitching.
Vegas, in an effort to make up for the long shot odds given to the Rays back in April to win the world series, has made the Rays the Favorite hoping the sports nation would bet against them to dampen the severity of the finanacial blow which has been delivered this post season. The Rays have drawn striking comparisons to the 86 Mets. They are young, charismatic, and represent the emobidement of a collegiate team making a run at Omaha. With their mohawks, commradery, and fearless yet nurchering leader in Joe Madden at the Helm. The Rays have the best starting rotation in the Bigs, and as of late, with rookie sensation David Price emerging as a reliable late inning stopper- no longer surrender an advantage to the fightin phills in the pen.
Look for BJ Upton, who got shammed out of the alcs mvp, and Longoria to continue their torrid pace, and carry this long shot to the top. Upton is in contention for the most homeruns in a single postseason, currently held by Barry Bonds, with 8 in 2004.
This will be the best world series since 2003, when the Marlins defeated the Yankees. Philadephia has the 4tth largest television market, while Tampa/St. Petersberg is the 13th, resulting in low projections for ratings, but with a great chance at seeing six or seven games, I believe this series will prevail as one of the most viewed in the last 10 years. Baseball is America’s pastime, and each of these teams represent what is great about our country, the under dog, the transormation of impossible, to likely.
The Rays will win in 6 games. Look for Chase Uttley and Ryan Howard to struggle against the left handed Kazmir, and Rays Bullpen, yet still play key roles with success facing Garza, and Shields.
Game one will be the thesis statement for this series.
Tonight will be the stage for two of the games most promising young left handed arms.
Baseball will be played the right way. Expect a national league style of play, base hits, stolen bases, pitching, and defense.
The long ball will play a factor, but if either team depends on it, it will be their downfall.
Will Charlie Manuel and the Phillies bring the city of brotherly love their first title since the 76’ers in 1983?
Or will the Tampa Bay Rays do the impossible? Just one season removed from dead last. Last Sept. 4, a
“crowd” of 9,112 watched the Tampa Bay Devil Rays lose to Baltimore, 8-4, and fall 27 games behind first
with loss No. 82 that ensured an imperfect 10 — 10 consecutive losing seasons, most of them spent in the
American League East cellar.
My money’s on the raise- but a great series is a safe bet.