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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Projections for the MLB Final

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Projections for the MLB Final

With the post-season slated to start next week, many questions still surround baseballs eight best regular season teams. There are rookies at the party with the Cincinnati Reds and the Texas Rangers. There are veterans at this party with the last two World Series champions in the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. Here is what exactly should fans look for over these next four weeks. 1. Can the newcomers hang with the returning champions? Yes. Although many experts are picking teams such as the Yankees, Phillies, and Twins to make it to this year’s fall classic, it would be foolish to overlook young upstart clubs such as the Rangers, Giants, and Reds. Those three have very strong lineups and can make a huge splash in October. The Giants are a sexy pick to make a run in the postseason behind a career year from Juan Uribe and a spectacular rookie campaign from catcher Buster Posey. The improved lineup compliments a scary pitching staff led by two time defending NL Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum as well as Matt Cain. In the AL. the Rangers are having a great upstart season, where they dominated a below average AL West and are coming in the postseason with superstar Josh Hamilton back in the lineup after missing the past month with broken ribs. The Rangers also have a combination of youth and experience in the lineup with monster season turned in by Elvis Andrus and Vlad Guerrero. Texas also made a huge deadline move to bring in veteran Cliff Lee to bolster their lackluster rotation and closer Neftali Feliz has exploded onto the scene with a rookie record 38 saves through September 30, 2010. 2. How will Roy Halladay fair in his first postseason? The Phillies had been to the World Series two years in a row, winning one. On December 14, 2009, the team made a blockbuster deal in acquiring ace Roy Halladay and signing him to a three year, $60 million dollar deal. There were skeptics of the move, especially considering the Phillies had to trade away ace Cliff Lee as part of the deal. The skeptics have subsided this year as Halladay has gone 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA; leading the NL in wins and third in ERA. He will start game one for Philadelphia this postseason barring injury. A first timer in postseason play, look for Halladay to not be fazed and carry Philadelphia along with Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, to another World Series. 3. Can the Yankees Repeat? The simple answer is yes. They have the best chance of any team due to an All-Star lineup. The rotation on the other hand, has been suspect lately. While CC Sabathia does have 21 wins, he has a relatively high 3.80 ERA, so one must wonder how many times that amazing lineup has helped him. AJ Burnett has been dismal this year, with a 10-15 record and a 5.33 ERA. Keep in mind the Yankees relied on him heavily in last year’s title run. Javier Vasquez has been mediocre as well this year, with a 5.32 ERA and a 10-10 record. With Sabathia and the young Phil Hughes, New York still has a solid top of the rotation, but there are still lingering questions about the last two starters. 4. Who will win the 2010 World Series? The Tampa Bay Rays. The lineup is solid throughout with young stars like Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist. Tampa’s true strength, however is their starting rotation. Cy Young hopeful David Price leads a rotation that includes James Shields as well as Matt Garza. If you throw in Jeff Niemann, you then have four quality starters to build a postseason rotation out of. With a great fan base comes a new ballpark, so the Rays have not only the best chances going into the postseason, but they also have the most to lose from not winning. This is a team truly hungry for a world title. After being in the basement the first 12 years of their existence, the Rays broke through in 2008, losing the World Series to the Phillies. With the best team in baseball, the Rays prove to be dangerous and the favorite heading in.