Your 2008 ALCS Preview

After all the games, and all the slugging it out (literally); we’ve arrived at two teams left in the American League. These are very different ballclubs. The Boston Red Sox are a bit like the mid-90’s Yankees. You can beat on them, pound on them, but that the end of the day they’re always there. This is their 4th ALCS appearance in 6 years. They’re like a bad infection that not even expensive medical knowledge can get rid of.

Do you realize that only one team in Major League Baseball had longer odds than the Tampa Bay Rays to win the World Series: the Washington Nationals. To put things in perspective, if that doesn’t do it for you; the Rays had the same odds of winning the World Series as the Baltimore Orioles. If you were one of the crazy bastards out in Vegas in march and you bet the Rays to win the World Series, you’ve never been closer to cashing in a ticket worth 1:100 odds.

Really that is what this is all about. It’s David vs. Goliath. It’s good vs. evil. It’s the mightiest of fan bases in the sport vs. some innocent and somber fans in the midst of a retirement community. It’s guys who have been there over and over on the grandest stage; and delivered against a bunch of kids who have raw talent and play hard. Maybe this is what those 1994 Expos would have done if there had been no strike.

The Rays are definitely up against it. They’re going to need a ton of things to go right to win this series. In a best of 7 series, you’re truly going to have the better team come out on top. You can stand to have a bad game or even two, but over the course of 7 games; the cream will rise to the top.

These two teams also hate eachother, which should make for some interesting must-see TV. It was back on june 5th when Coco Crisp decided to charge the mound, resulting in a donnybrook at Fenway Park. That’s exactly what you wanna see at this level of the playoffs. Two teams that don’t like eachother slugging it out for a chance at immortality. People will want to come out and say that this Devil Rays team will be remembered forever; if they’re going to be remembered outside of Tampa Bay, they need to win this series. They reach immortal status if they can get to the series we believe.

That said, lets get on with it.

Player that will have the biggest series impact: Scott Kazmir

There you go. This guy has been the franchise since there was one basically. He’ll get the ball at least two times and maybe 3 in this series. You remember how Josh Beckett threw the last few seasons in these ALCS games? Don’t be surprised if Kazmir mimics him. Only now Beckett is about 80%.

If the Rays are going to win this series, Scott Kazmir has to come up with big, gutty performances. We’re suggesting he’ll do that. It’s going to happen.

Prediction: Tampa Bay in 7 games.