Pros: They've been here before, in 2004 and more recently, last year. John Lester looks like a true ace, and any one of their bats is capable of a clutch hit. And then there's that whole Fenway Park think.
Cons: Outside of Lester, their rotation is not unbeatable and their bullpen is not unhittable. The lack of a substantial bridge to Papelbon could be their downfall. And then there's that whole they-don't-have-home-field thing.
Pros: Young, but proving that the playoffs are no obstacle. They have home field--and they've been great at Tropicana Field. Evan Longoria and BJ Upton are playing like this is their tenth time in the postseason.
Cons: Inexperienced. Trouble winning on the road. Starting pitching is good, but not unbeatable.
Prediction Rays in Six
Pros: Scrappy, gritty team that never counts itself out. Lots of mashers. Have Jaime Moyer and know how to use him. Same with Cole Hamels.
Cons: Brad Lidge in a tight game that matters. Brett Myers. Not many guys that know how to pitch to Manny.
Pros: Manny Ramirez, Joe Torre. Oh, and that starting pitching staff--Billingsley, Lowe, etc.
Cons: When's the last time they had to play in cold weather? And Joe Torre is managing their Bullpen. And, if you believe in these things, there's the Curse of Don Mattingly.
Prediction: Dodgers in Five
Tuesday, October 7, 2008