Phillies Bullpen vs. Rays lineup: Sure, there are other very important factors in the series like starting pitching for example, but I am most excited to watch the Philadelphia bullpen vs Tampa Bay hitting.
The statistics in the season:
Phillies had the 3rd least blown saves in all of baseball. (Closer Brad Lidge had 0)
Behind Lidge, the Phils have some excellent relievers in the bullpen including J.P. Romero, Ryan Madsen and Chad Durbin.
The weaknesses are hard to find between those four pitchers, but it is simple to find out there strength. When the Phillies are up late, its over. After 8 innings the Phillies have 0 losses when leading this year. In the Playoffs? 0 losses. If the star-studded, young-gun Tampa lineup can win this series, they have to not only have timely hitting and pitching, but they need to get off to an early lead.
(Just a side note to the above: Brad Lidge gave up the winning run in the All-Star game which gives the Rays home field advantage)
My personal takeis that the series comes down to how Tampa plays the first five innings each game. They will likely receive solid starting pitching from guys like Shields, Garza, Kazmir even Sonnanstine. If their athletic hitters can get to some of the Philly starters early, expect a Rays World Series.
Bold Prediction of 2008 World Series: This may or may not affect the series outcome, but I predict Brad Lidge blows a save in this series.
Series Outcome: Phillies in 6.
Agree or Disagree, please give me feedback as well as your prediction in the series.