Paul Wezner, Executive Editor
I think this could end up being an outstanding World Series for so many reasons - the Rays the new team on the block, conceivably coming out of nowhere to shock the baseball world. The Phillies, a team consistently good, never great, and the team of a city starving for its first championship in 30-plus years. Beyond the "feel good" storylines, both clubs have some outstanding players, and some excellent pitching. Ultimately though, when it comes down to the starting units, Tampa Bay has three outstanding starters, and while Cole Hamels is certainly on that same level, Brett Myers struggled at times this season (as evidenced by his 4.55 ERA) and while Jamie Moyer is effective, he won't blow hitters away. With that, and with both clubs having similar offenses, I'm going to go with the Rays winning their first ever World Series in six games.
Mark Anderson, Managing Editor
As a baseball fan -- Tiger fan at heart, but a fan of the game all the same -- this World Series is going to be a blast. Both the Phillies and Rays (I keep wanting to type Devil) are playing at a very high level coming in, and both have dynamic ball clubs that can do so many things well. The Rays have three big time front line starters in Garza, Shields, and Kazmir, and a fourth in Sonanstine who is certainly no slouch. They have what has been a strong bullpen, though it faltered a bit in the ALCS until David Price announced his presence with authority in game seven. Their offense can run and slug with the best of them, and their defense is dramatically improved over past years. The Phillies bring power with Ryan Howard and historic power at second base with Chase Utley, speed with Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins, and two outstanding starters in Cole Hamels and Brett Myers, all backed up by a lights out Brad Lidge who looks better than ever right now. Read that again. Seriously, those are two very well rounded, outstanding baseball clubs, with the potential to be very good for an extended stretch with the right moves going forward. In this series, I think I have to go with the Rays. It doesn't boil down to the feel good story, or the team riding the momentum of a seven game series, but it has to do with those big three starters up front, and the potential for Joe Maddon to really leverage the amazing stuff of David Price, in this series. I think it will be a lengthy series, but I think the Rays take hom the World Series trohpy; possibly the first of several in the coming decade.
Jason Avery, Associate Editor, Amateur Baseball
I'm going to take Tampa Bay. They are not only deep in starting pitching, but outside of Scott Kazmir's poor start in Game 2 of the ALCS (a game Tampa won 9-8 in 11 innings), the Rays' young arms kept the second most potent offense in the AL in check, so I give the Rays the edge there. Certainly, Philadelphia has the edge in the bullpen, but Tampa has a weapon in David Price, and they can always piece things together like they did in Game 7. The offenses are both very potent, and the Phillies have a combined 10 RBIs from Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins in their series wins over the Cubs and Dodgers, so if they get hot, look out. However, Tampa can match them in the power department, and their team speed helps them greatly on both offense and defense. I don't see this being a short series, and this could go either way, but I think Tampa will win the series.
Have your own opinion on the issue? Ready to talk about it? State your opinion on the Detroit Tigers Open Message Board and go head to head with the experts!