Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why The Rays Will Win

I've been predicting the Rays throughout the season. I'm not gonna get off the bandwagon now.

That's why I think the Rays will win the World Series.

The same reasons they won all season will be the same reason they win now. Great pitching, super speed both on the bases and in defense. Tampa ran all over the Red Sox (like I said they would), stealing 10 bases to Boston's 2. I think that trend should continue. Tampa had a preposterous .508 slugging percentage (to Boston's 418, and incidentally Philly's .402).

But the main reason I'm picking the Rays is the starting pitching. Frankly, once you get past Cole Hamels, I don't think the Phils have enough. Blanton got rocked against the Rays in his career, giving up 57 hits in 41 innings for a plus 6 ERA. Jamie Moyer got shelled in the postseason—no surprise there, junkballers usually do come postseason. Brett Myers, he of the 4.55 ERA this season, gave up 5 runs in 5 innings in his only start against the Dodgers. (Also, possibly interesting tidbit, Myers hates domes and pitches terribly in them for his career—keep an eye out for this in game 2.)

On the other hand, Tamp has a sterling starting 4, where their ace lefty, Scott Kazmir, pitched the "worst" of the 4. Kazmir has a 4.35 ERA in the series against Boston, and gave up 8 hits in 10.3 innings with 9 SO. All together, Tampa held Boston's lineup—which had batted .280 for the season—to a .234 BA in those 7 games. Their starting had an ERA of just under 3.1.

And yes, the Phillies have a awesome bullpen. But that won't be enough. If Hamels can give the Phillies game 1, then the Phillies will be in the Series for the long haul. However, if the Rays take game 1, this Series might be shorter rather than longer.

Prediction: Rays in 6

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