Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rays Worst-to-First Saga continues tonight in Game 1 of the World Series

By JC De La Torre
The New York Yankees haven't been to the World Series in five years. the Chicago Cubs haven't been there since 1945. The Philadelphia Phillies, Tampa Bay's opponent in the fall classic, haven't been there since 1993. This Rays fans, is something special.

Tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays take on the Philadelphia Phillies in Game One of the World Series. Scott Kazmir is on the hill for Tampa Bay, with the Phillies countering with their ace, Cole Hamels. Tampa Bay broke the major league record for single season improvement, as they have now won 104 games in 2008 (including the playoffs), a 37 game improvement over 2007. This beats the old record of 36+ by 1946 Boston Red Sox. Only one team in Major League Baseball history has gone from being the worst team in baseball to the World Series, the 1991 Atlanta Braves. Unfortunately for the Braves, it didn't end well as they lost the World Series in 7 games to another worst-to-first team, the Minnesota Twins, who were last in their division the previous year. The Twins are the only team in modern MLB history to finish in last the previous year to winning the World Championship.

The team that wins game one of the World Series goes on to win 61% of the time.

One last interesting tidbit - in interleague play this season, the Rays were 12-6 versus the National League, while the Phillies had the worst interleague record in baseball, 4-11.

My prediction? Rays in 6.

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