The result of the ALCS has severly diminished my interest, though I would love to see the Rays get crushed. I don’t see that happening though, my pick is Rays in 5.
A few interesting observations:
1. Through two rounds, the Phillies are 0-2 when Jamie Moyer starts, and 7-0 when Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, or Joe Blanton starts.
2. The Rays, 57-24 at home during the regular season, are 4-2 in the ALDS and ALCS at the Trop, the same record they have on the road.
3. Philly has dropped Game 3 of each series, but are undefeated at home.
What does this all mean? Probably nothing. Tampa has a deeper pitching staff (Garza and Sonnanstine are a huge edge over Moyer and Blanton). They have a deeper lineup, especially when the DH is in play for Games 1,2, 6 and 7. And David Price is looming as a huge x-factor – a fresh, overpowering arm whose impact looks to be similar to K-Rod’s in the 2002 playoffs.
Philly’s best chance is for Cole Hamels to give them 2 shut-down performances, get a good start out of Myers in Games 2 or 6 and hope for Moyer or Blanton to steal one in Game 3, 4 or 7. And they need Ryan Howard to hit. He’s struggled in the playoffs, and if he gets going they’re lineup will be able to pile up a ton of runs.
But this feels like the Rays year. The next time they’ll be flying back to Tampa they’ll bring the World Series trophy with them. Carlos Pena will be the MVP.