ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- My predictions started out so well this postseason.
That's three straight I got right, and then three straight I got wrong. Which, by my figuring, means I'm due to be right with this World Series pick:
Rays in 5.
Why? Simple. The American League is a lot better than the National League, and the Rays are the deserved AL champs. The Phillies are the deserved champs of an inferior league.
Yes, I know that the Phils' bullpen is better. They actually have a closer (and a good one, in Brad Lidge). They have a setup man who was unbelievable against the Dodgers (Ryan Madson, who was so good that one scout jokingly suggested he ought to be drug-tested right now).
That would be key if I thought this series would come down to the bullpens. It won't, because there's also a big difference at the start of games. The Rays' rotation is that much better, especially once you get past Cole Hamels.
Yes, I know the Phillies have had time to set up their rotation, but that also means they've had a week to stop their momentum. And if you've watched this Phillies team, you know it has an offense that tends to shut off every now and then. And one time it shut off -- no surprise -- is when the Phillies played their interleague games.
In a six-game homestand against the Red Sox and Angels, the Phils got one win from Hamels and then lost five straight.
That sounds about right, except now they can't lose five in a row. But they can lose in five, and I'm saying they will.
(Don't) take my word for it.