World Series game three: Rays at Phillies
After splitting the first two games of the 104th World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays now move up north for games three, four and five at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
The Phillies will feel that they have put themselves in the drivers' seat after managing to take one of the opening two games but they will be desperate for veteran Jamie Moyer to perform better when he is handed the ball in game three. Moyer is the oldest player in the MLB at 45 years old and so far in the play-offs he has been performing at a level that could be expected of his advancing years. However, when he takes to the mound for what will be his first World Series performance, he will know that if he can replicate his regular season form then the Phils will be in with a shout.
He goes against ALCS game seven winner Matt Garza. Garza is symbolic of the Rays organisation after he was a minor part of a trade prior to the season starting, yet has been a valuable cog in Tampa Bay's dramatic rise to the top. He mixes an exceptional fastball with some effective off-speed stuff, although command on his slower pitches has been his downfall at times this year. Questions about Garza's mentality in big game situations were certainly put to rest after giving up a solo home-run in the first innings against the Boston Red Sox only to come back and hold the Sox scoreless for the next six innings.
This is a tough game to call. On paper, and on recent form, the Rays led by Matt Garza look to have the slight edge but it is very hard to overlook the veteran Moyer. He may be 45 years old but that also means he has been waiting for his turn in the spotlight a lot longer than anyone else. He will give his all and that could win through in the end. The Phillies start at evens to win the game and may be worth a look.