Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rays should win

Watching various baseball shows on TV and of course reading lots of articles on the series, there seems to be plenty of people picking the Phillies. Certainly no one is dissing the Rays in doing so, but rarely do you see the Phillies folks acknowledge the Rays are the favorites and the Phillies pick is purely emotional.

  • The Phillies have made the playoffs the past two seasons as much because of the Mets collapse as anything else.
  • They played Milwaukee in the first round (nuff said).
  • They played LA in the second, "winner" of the weakest division in baseball. (The Dodgers would not have made the playoffs based on W-L record in any other division.)
  • The NL is universally agreed upon as the inferior league (almost no one has argued in any coherent fashion otherwise for years).
  • The Rays have home field advantage.
So to wrap up, we have the Rays winning the toughest division in baseball and beating last years champions in the process of getting to the WS. They consistently have played the best baseball of anyone all year, they have strong pitching, defense, balanced attack and well regarded managers, not to mention a bullpen that is top notch and has this guy named "Price" or something.

In other words, Tampa is good. Really good. And yet some people who aren't actual Phillies fans are picking Philadelphia to win. Doesn't make sense?

We all understand anything can happen in a 7 game series. If Jeff Weaver and the 83 win Cardinals can with the WS, ANYTHING can happen. No one is arguing otherwise. I would not be the least bit shocked if Philadelphia did win.

But if you had to put your money down, and made the bet straight up, you'd be crazy to pick the Phillies. The Rays demonstrated over and over this year they are a really good team. The Phillies have nothing on their resume as impressive. You may want the Phillies to win. You may figure anything can happen and the Rays will lose, and that's fine. But to argue the Phillies are better and you expect them to win?

There is no evidence to suggest it.

The Rays have confounded the "experts" all year. No matter that many people warned the Rays were going to be much better this year than expected. (The people who pick the Phillies are generally people who don't read or listen to those same people who predicted the rise of the Rays.)

The only thing that will get certain peoples attention is Tampa winning this series. I hope they do.

Sorry Jamie. But sometimes it's better to have the best team win.