Why the Phillies will win: Should be an entertaining series with home runs and lead changes. The Phils bring more offensive firepower and a better bullpen than the Red Sox against the amazing Rays.
Why the Philllies will win: The magical ride finally comes to an end. The Rays' season is one of the most surprising ever, and their future appears bright. But the Phillies know how to win the close one, and it doesn't hurt they have the closer (Brad Lidge) Tampa lacks.
Why the Rays will win: Philly's lineup has speed at the top, power in the middle, and causes trouble with all the lefties and switch-hitters. But with David Price -- the kid is ice -- joining J.P. Howell as lockdown lefties in Tampa Bay's 'pen, the Phils are a lot less scary. Tampa Bay's rotation is deeper, too. Rule No. 1: When in doubt, go with pitching.
Why the Phillies will win: David Price could be the difference maker, particularly against the Phillies big left-handed boppers, but Philly still has the edge in this series because of its bullpen: despite playing its home games in Citizens Bank Park, Phillies relievers allowed the second fewest homers in the majors. Philly also has the best starting pitcher in the World Series in Cole Hamels.
Why the Rays will win: In my LCS picks, I said the Dodgers would get two wins from Chad Billingsley and the Rays' wonderful ride would come to an end. Makes one want to grab a ride in Marty McFly's DeLorean. So does this: Joe Maddon's energetic crew was a 200-to-1 longshot last winter to win the World Series. We have learned, many months too late, not to bet against them.
Why the Rays will win: This series will test the axiom that pitching wins championships. The depth of the Rays' rotation -- James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine -- will be the difference against a Phillies' staff that drops off after Cole Hamels. If Rays' starters could quiet the Red Sox, they can handle the Phillies.
Why the Phillies will win: The DH favors the Rays, but the Phillies are better at making adjustments. If the expected pitching matchups hold, I can see Philadelphia winning all the odd-numbered games.
Why the Rays will win: With an explosive offense that smacked 16 home runs against Boston, a deep starting rotation and the emrgence of David Price as a shut-down option in the bullpen, the Rays are poised to complete their miracle season.
Why the Rays will win: This exciting collection of raw talent proved its mettle in the ALCS, staring tragic humiliation in the eye without blinking and eventually slaying the defending world champion. Baseball's story of the year has a happy ending.
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