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So Far, All Rays. What Do You Think? [Update]

So where's the love for the Phillies? Does NL East familiarity breed contempt? Is this a Mid-Atlantic rivalry issue? Or is everyone just in love with the R-A-Y-S Rays Rays Rays?

Apparently, yes.

Four -- make that five -- Insider predictions clocked in so far, all for the Rays:

Dave Sheinin: Rays in four.

Tom Boswell: Rays in seven.

Chico Harlan: Rays in six.

Tom Heleba: Rays in five.

Cameron Smith: Rays in six.

Still to come: Marc Carig.

There's still time for you to predict a winner on the poll below....

... then pick a World Series MVP.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 22, 2008; 9:02 AM ET
Categories:  Phillies , Rays  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Yep. Another One For The Rays (In Six)
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That would be a "yes" on this end of the keyboard.

"Or is everyone just in love with the R-A-Y-S Rays Rays Rays?"

Posted by: natsfan1a | October 21, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess you guys don't watch much Phillies baseball. They are a thrill to watch and root for! Go Phils!

Posted by: Jen - South Jersey | October 21, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I would like to thank all of you "experts" for picking the Rays. I was worried about the Phils feeling the pressure of being the "favorite". I hope that every other sports writer in America also picks the Rays. And what a sexy pick they are. A true fairy tale story.

Trouble is - it ain't going to happen. The Phils have the depth, experience, better pitching staff, better pullpen, dominant closer, power off the bench (stairs) to take it all the way. Also, the DH favors the Phils in this match-up. Now, Greg Dobbs can get some AB's. And now, they won't be "pressing" as the favorite. Everyone also picked the Dodgers after they swept the Cubs...we know how that ended.

Phils in 5 - they wrap it up at home for the long-suffering fans. Thanks again for picking against them! We appreciate it!

Posted by: PhilliePhan | October 21, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I like the Phillies to win The Series in 7 games. I have watched the Phillies all year. They are good and they are consistent. Yes the Rays are fun to watch and they have that weird ballpark in Tampa on their side. I know the American League teams are supposed to be better but I think this is the year for Philadelphia. Phillies in 7 games.

Posted by: joeb | October 21, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Rays in 5. Philly has Cole Hamels and then question marks. Philly has Lidge, but no one truly impressive in front. Philly has Rollins, Utley, Howard and Victorino, all fantastic players, complimented by an adequate Werth, defensively solid Feliz and Pat the (sometimes) Bat.

But the Rays are better. Let's go position by position: LF Crawford over Burrell. Burrell might have more power, but Crawford saves runs in the field and creates runs with his legs. CF I love Victorino, but you cannot deny that this is BJ Upton's coming out party. RF I'll take Werth over the string of RFs the Rays trot out. 3B Do I even need to say Longoria? SS Rollins beats Bartlett every time. 2B I gotta give it to Utley 1B Here it's interesting. Regular season, I don't think about it. But Howard has been a joke for the past month. I think I go Pena. C Navarro takes Ruiz to the dump

The SP? Shields, Kazmir, Garza? That can beat the snot out of Hamels, Myers, Moyer. THEN there's Sonnastine, who can beat 2 of the 3 Top 3 Phillies starters.

I give the Phils Game 1, because Hamels in incredible. After that...I think it's all Rays, all the time.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | October 21, 2008 4:48 PM | Report abuse

To Jen in South Jersey:

I watch plenty of Phillies baseball... and I think actually it will be a very compelling series... That said... nothing good ever comes when the Conventional Wisdon is unified as it is... and it isn't about who I think will win, but who I want to win.

Nothing would gall me more than to have to see "World Champion" patches on Phillies uniforms all next season...

Go Rays!

Posted by: Wigi | October 21, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

For discussion purposes, please see this analysis adjusting records for strength of schedule, using various ways to calculate expected outcomes. It is from a Red Sox message board, Sons of Sam Horn, and by won of the Red Sox in house stat guys (Eric Van). Post #19 is the end of the year numbers. The actual ranking is based on using Baseball Prospectus numbers for expected runs scored and allowed by type of event (hit, walk, etc...).

I'm not a SABR wiz and can't understand half this stuff, but the analysis concludes, that by some measures, the 4 strongest teams in baseball were in the AL East this year. That said, this does not account for who is hot right now nor how teams change from the first half to the second half to the playoffs. What it does point out is that the Rays were tested coming through the AL East, having to face the Roy Halladays and AJ Burnetts as well as the long batting orders of the rest of the division, while the Phils came out of a weak division. It also suggest that the Phils abilty to take the division and maybe their best hope in the playoffs is to get leads the bullpen, much like the LAA's did in running up their regular season wins.

Posted by: PTBNL | October 21, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps if the Phillies had lost three NLCS games (rather than only two during the whole postseason), letting it go to seven games, they would get more love. But the truth is that you folks in the AL-loving media haven't seen much of Philadelphia this month because they have played well and played efficiently. Isn't that worth something?

The Phillies are not a perfect team. Having followed them all season - and all my life - as a glass-half-empty Philly fan, I still cannot believe they're in the World Series. But they are, because they're good.

However, I am slightly concerned about playing on astroturf indoors. The Phillies haven't played in those conditions all season, because the NL doesn't have any stinkin' domes or turf fields. Slight advantage to the Rays in that regard.

Posted by: Philly Phan in Phairfax | October 22, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Phillies in Six.

Posted by: Rich S. | October 22, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Ummmm Philly Phan, Milwaukee, Houston and the Diamondbacks have domes...they're retractable, but still classified as domes....see

Rays in 6

Posted by: laughingstock | October 22, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see the Ray win it, but I have this sickening feeling that the Phils will win it in 7. I'm with you, Wigi, on the patches. Ick.

Posted by: Patty | October 22, 2008 7:46 PM | Report abuse

phils in 5 GO PHILLIES

Posted by: malco49 | October 22, 2008 7:57 PM | Report abuse

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