2008 World Series Preview
The Fall Classic has come and a new champ will arise this year! Will it be the Phillies or Rays? Kidzworld weighs in on the '08 World Series!
OffenseWith hitters like Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins, the Phillies have a lot of power and depth to their offense. The Phillies led the NL in home runs and walks. This shows that they are a patient team. But as strong as they are one through six in the batting order, they have struggled a bit from the plate this postseason. In the past nine games, they haven't hit a home run and have only three RBIs. The Rays on the other hand, have a different style at the plate. Though they are not as deep, they are a gritty bunch and find ways to beat you. Whether that means stealing bases or clutch hitting, Tampa Bay will capitalize on your mistakes. This postseason, the Rays are getting big contributions from B.J. Upton and Evan Longoria, who have combined for 13 home runs. Carlos Pena has also come up big. hitting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs.
DefenseThroughout the season and the early part of the playoffs, Tampa Bay was super strong on D. They have the fastest outfield in Carl Crawford, Upton and Fernando Perez. But the last three games of the last series against the Red Sox, the Rays almost blew a 3-1 series lead due to a series of errors.
PitchingBoth teams have strong pitchers. The Rays have a great starting rotation with James Shields, Scott Kazmir, Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine. We saw how dominant Garza was in Game 7 against the Sox. But as deep as the Rays are, the Phillies may be deeper. They have the best starting pitcher in the World Series in Cole Hamels. The Phillies also have closer Brad Lidge, who has not blown a save all year. Ryan Madson, Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero round up a stacked bullpen that will give Tampa Bay headaches for the next few weeks.
Final VerdictThe Rays are the darling team of the MLB, coming out of nowhere and climbed their way to the top. Their seven game battle against the Red Sox could either help them or harm them. On the one hand, they can be worn out mentally and physically from a long series like that. But we think they will carry the emotion and momentum they built from last series and will grind out another seven game victory against the Phillies.