World Series Preview: Rays vs. Phillies

The Fall Classic has finally arrived.  After 162 regular season games and two rounds of playoff action, Major League Baseball is down to its final two teams: The Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now it doesn’t surprise a lot of people that the Phillies have returned to the World Series, but the Rays?!?!

Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays won the American League Pennant.  Both teams got here with tremendous pitching and clutch work coming out of the bullpen.  Both teams have the ability to hit the cover off of the ball.  Here is a breakdown of what to expect this World Series:

Pitching

Both teams have great young arms.  The Phils will rest their hopes on Cole Hamels and the Rays will counter with Matt Garza.  The Phills have a slightly better bullpen bolstered by the hottest closer in the league this year, Brad Lidge.  I like the Rays starting pitching a lot more, but if it is close coming down the stretch, I like the Phills bullpen to close out a win.

Hitting

Too bad the pitching is so good because there are some tremendous bats on both teams.  Obviously, everybody knows what a home run threat Ryan Howard is but his teammates Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins also have very strong bats.  Meanwhile the Rays have BJ Upton and Carlos Pena who provide home run spark for the AL Champs.  I give the edge in this match up to the Rays because they seem to have an ability to manufacture runs when needed.

Prediction

The Rays appear to be the team of destiny and they have been the gutsiest team all season.  When you think that they cannot possibly win, they find a way to comeback (just ask the Red Sox).  With that said, I am going to predict the Rays win the World Series in 6 games.

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