I hate to toot my own horn, but if no one else is going to do it, I'm going to have to - I called both the ALCS and NLCS exactly right. I also didn't do so poorly calling the Division Series. Of course, I've had my share of pretty poor picks on more than one occasion, which is maybe what makes these picks all the more impressive. But I do pick a bit more rationally when the Mets aren't involved...so if you want the right call on the 2008 World Series, you've certainly come to the right place.
I start with a baseball analogy for you -
You read that out as (for those of you far removed from the SAT): The Phillies are to the Rays what the Dodgers were to the Phillies. In other words, this won't be much of a contest for Tampa Bay.
I told you earlier this week I'm actually rooting for the Phillies - so this isn't the mad ranting of an angry, bitter, jealous, vengeful Mets fan. (Though I'm also not saying I'm not that.) It's just the way I see these teams matching up.
I saw the Phillies' pitchers as being better than the Dodgers' pitchers. Tampa Bay's are better than the Phillies.
The Phillies had a better lineup than the Dodgers as well...much better. Though Philadelphia has the better lineup than Tampa Bay in this series, the Rays' lineup is a notch or two above what the Dodgers were.
Add that together, and it comes out to a fairly easy series for the Rays. The Phillies probably have the edge at the end of games from the bullpen, and that's maybe why I'll give them two wins, but it's a shaky second win. I just don't think the Phillies will take many leads late into the games. (And if David Price is closing games out like he did Game 7 of the ALCS, the edge in the bullpen area might swing back to Tampa.)
I know the Phillies have a potent offense. But two things here - 1) They've been streaky this year. And they've been really hot all post-season (even in the closing days of the regular season). I sense they'll cool off a bit. And a big reason for that cooling off is 2) Pitching wins championships. It's just a fact - the good pitching will beat the good hitting. And Tampa Bay has that.
So it's Tampa Bay in six. Enjoy the final days of the baseball season.