The World Series stage is set between arguably two of baseball’s most historic franchises. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox both won their respective league championship series in 6 games and will meet Wednesday night for game 1. The two teams are both 97 and 65 on the year and are no stranger to facing each other in the World Series. The Red Sox swept through the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series after losing to the Cardinals in 1946 and 1967. The winner of this World Series regardless of who it will be only the third team to win 3 World Series in a 10 year span.
The Red Sox made the turn from one of baseballs worst teams last year, to the best in the American League this year. The change of managers bringing in John Farrell to lead them changed the attitude in the club house for a team that was full of turmoil last year. The attitude change Farrell brought with him as proven to be just what the Red Sox needed as they are now on top again. The Red Sox have several veteran guys like Pedroia, Ortiz, Ellsbury, Napoli and others who lead their team at the plate. They have a solid pitching staff who were 11th in ERA this year. They will need for the back-end of the rotation in Peavy and Bucholtz to pitch up their potential in this series. The Red Sox will be faced with not having the DH when they play in St. Louis which does hurt them slightly having to take Napoli or Ortiz out of the line up. The Red Sox have an incredible bullpen and they need to get the games in their hands with lead to close out games if they want to win the World Series.
The Cardinals were suppose to be rebuilding when Albert Pujols bolted in free agency two years ago. They didn’t rebuild instead they just reloaded and were a game away from being in the World Series last year after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Giants. They wouldn’t make the same mistake this year as they closed out the Dodgers in 6 and are back looking for their 2nd title in only 3 years. The Cardinals have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball coming in with the 2nd best ERA on the year. The most appealing part of that stat is most of that occurred with Michael Wacha down in the minor leagues. Wacha is no minor leaguer at this points in fact you could argue that he’s just as much an ace now as Wainwright is. The Cardinals much like the Red Sox will have to worry about what kind of pitching they will get out of Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn once they pitch Wainwright and Wacha. They get a huge boost in the batting order as it looks like Allen Craig is going to be healthy enough to DH for them in Boston after missing the later part of the year and all of the playoffs up until this point. Craig is arguably one of the best hitters in clutch situations and should be huge in the World Series if he’s able to come back anywhere close to the guy who hit over .300 this year. The Cardinals need their “aces” in Wainwright and Wacha to continue to pitch the way they have in the playoffs and if they do that in the 4 games they pitch the Cardinals have a good chance of winning the World Series.
I’m going with the Cardinals in 7 games as I just trust their pitching staff to keep the Red Sox bats at bay.
This is going to be a fun one to watch whether you like the Cardinals, Red Sox, or are just a fan of baseball. It’s not often you see the two best teams in a sport make it to the championship, but baseball have given us that this year.