2008 World Series Preview
- Updated: October 22, 2008
Tampa Bay Rays (97-65)
Philadelphia Phillies (92-70)
This first area of concern I have is how long the Phillies had to wait for the Rays to eliminate the Red Sox (95-67). It has been a week since the Phillies have played against an opponent as they eliminated the Dodgers (84-78) in 5 games while the Rays needed all 7 games to eliminate the Sox.
The second concern is the rotation match ups. Not the order, but rather how the Phillies 4 match up against the Rays 4. I have the advantage going to the Rays here! But if you want a game by game analysis, I’ll give it a shot below…
Game 1: Hamels vs Kazmir – unless Kazmir pitches with dominance like he has other than this year, I’d have to give this one to Hamels without question.
Game 2: Myers vs Shields – Unless Meyers does to Shields, what he previously did to CC Sabathia, I think Shields finally earns the nickname “big game” with a win on the biggest stage of his career in game 2 of the World Series.
Game 3: Garza vs Moyer – Barring divine intervention, I think the ALCS MVP will win game 3 over the crafty veteran, Moyer.
Game 4: Sonnanstine vs Blanton – Blanton just isn’t as good since leaving Oakland with all that foul ground that helps to keep a pitcher’s ERA down. On the other hand, Sonnanstine is a fine # 3 or 4 pitcher.
The Phillies offense needs to get to the Rays bullpen and fast. This is their best chance to win unless the Rays pitchers finally fold under the pressue of performing in the World Series, but I just don’t see that happening. If, however, this turns into a slugfest, the Phillies will win easily because they have more bats and more veterans that will probably keep their composure under such stress.
My heart wants the Phillies to win, thinking that the Rays look to be here for the long run, but my instincts tell me otherwise. Plus, after seeing what the Rays did to the Red Sox in the ALCS, and I think the Red Sox are a better team than the Phillies, I just can’t see the Rays loosing this unless they choke under the pressure via errors or the bullpen implodes. Both actually can happen, we saw glimpses of it in the ALCS, but they were overcome in the end. Either way, this has the potential of being a great series!