For the first time in a while, Manny being Manny won’t be one of major storylines in this year’s World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays have a chance to make their own history with interesting storylinesThe first major storyline can state that the majority of the players on each team can say that “I Love the 80s” since they were born close to or after 1980.
The oldest pitcher on the Phillies staff is Jamie Moyer (45) and the next closest pitcher is Brett Myers (28). The Rays pitching staff includes Scott Kazmir (24), James Shields (26), Matt Garza (24) and Andy Sonnanstine (25).
According to MLB.com, the Rays starting lineup average age is 27.4, which makes the Phillies lineup of six players born close or after the 80s seem like old-timers. The Phillies only seem old because of the youth of the Rays because 11 of the players on the roster are under the age of 30.
Another reason this series is worth watching is because African Americans are making major contributions. The Rays’ tandem of B.J. Upton, Carl Crawford and David Price have put their stamp on the team and the playoffs. Upton has almost matched his 2008 homerun season total of nine in the postseason, with seven. Also, Upton has a higher batting average in the postseason (.304) then he had during the season (.278).
Crawford has come back from his wrist injury in the Divisional Series to come on strong in the American League Championship Series. He hit an astounding .345 against the, then, defending champs Boston Red Sox.
Then there is David Price. Since being called up, he had a 1.93 ERA in last weeks of the season and hasn’t given up a run this postseason.
The Phillies have some more established stars on their team in Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard. Rollins was an MVP selection in 2007, which is a year after Howard won the award for himself.
Howard was MLB’s clutch performer in September, hitting .352 with 11 home runs, and 32 RBIs to carry the Phillies to the Division title and into the playoffs.
The Rays are the Cinderella story this year by making the postseason and World Series after a history of last and next to last finishes.
So with this in mind, I believe that the Rays will win the World Series in six games because of the emergence of left-hander Price as the X-factor to neutralize the big left-handed bats of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the latter innings. Plus, the Rays have the most comeback wins in the MLB this season.