ESPN's World Series predictions

Updated: October 22, 2008, 6:33 PM ET

  PREDICTION WHY?


Jim Caple


in 4
I pick the Rays to sweep because the American League is that much superior to the National League, which once again got smoked in interleague play and the All-Star Game. It's like the majors versus AAA.


Jerry Crasnick


in 7
The Rays faced tougher competition to get here, but I love Philadelphia's "red light'' players -- the Phillies have the best starter in the series in Cole Hamels, and a better bullpen. David Price is a huge X factor for Tampa Bay, but the rest of the Rays' bullpen appears vulnerable.


Peter Gammons


in 7
This is going to end up as a bullpen series, and in the end, Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge are as good as it gets for the last six outs (an 0.67 ERA in September). And with the depth of Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero in front of Madson and Lidge, the Philles should win some crucial games.


Pedro Gomez


in 5
They're the only American League-style club in the NL and the back end of the Phillies' bullpen is the best in baseball. The Rays' carriage finally turns back into a pumpkin.


Jonah Keri


in 7
Good starting pitching (big extra day off for Garza), great defense, a shutdown rookie in the bullpen (Price) and the two hottest sluggers still going (Upton and Longoria) by a nose over a loaded Phillies attack.


Bob Klapisch


in 7
Two evenly matched teams with off-setting strengths. For once, this is a Series that will actually be decided by home-field advantage.


Tim Kurkjian


in 7
I've got the Rays in seven because they have starting pitching, power, speed, defense, a bullpen that has been bolstered by David Price, and they have four games at home.


Keith Law


in 6
Outstanding run prevention and a bullpen loaded with lefties trumps a strong offense, plus the difference between the leagues exposes the weak side of Philly's roster.


Amy Nelson


in 6
The Rays have home field, they have a better bench, three left-handers in their bullpen (including the remarkable David Price) and better starting pitching overall. While the Phillies rely on power and speed in the same fashion the Rays do, Tampa Bay has used both -- better -- this October.


Rob Neyer


in 5
Pitching, hitting, fielding … the only real edge the Phillies seem to have is Brad Lidge in the ninth inning … and as good as David Price has looked, even that's not a sure thing.



Buster Olney


in 6
Tampa Bay should have a major advantage in starting pitching, with great matchups in Games 3 and 4.


Steve Phillips


in 7
The Phillies win because of the quality and predictability of their ace, Cole Hamels, and their bullpen.


Jayson Stark


in 6
Logic, the standings and recent history say Rays, but there's something about these Phillies -- a mentally tough team on a mission.


Gene Wojciechowski


in 6
Do you believe in destiny? Home field, battle tested, just enough rest, good pitching, speed, and a deep bullpen. I believe. So do the Red Sox.