The time has come! After 162 regular season games, and four postseason series, the final two teams remaining both shared the best record in baseball season. The 97-win St. Louis Cardinals will face the 97-win Boston Red Sox in the 2013 World Series.
This will be the fourth time these two franchises have met in the World Series. The Cardinals beat the Red Sox in 1946 and 1967, both in seven games. The Red Sox swept the Redbirds in 2004.
For the Cardinals this will be their second appearance in three years, third appearance in eight years, and fourth appearance in ten years. They return six players from the 2011 World Series team, but none of the starting pitchers that defeated the Texas Rangers. Rookie Michael Wacha, from Texas A&M, has been a big reason for their success in the postseason. He has only given up nine hits in 97 at bats during his last four starts. That’s a 0.30 ERA in under 30 innings. He will start in both Game 2 and Game 6 (if needed) in the hitter friendly confines of Fenway Park.
All four of the Cardinals’ projected starters (Adam Wainwright, Joe Kelly, Wacha, and Lance Lynn) are all good right-handers. The Red Sox have feasted on right-hand pitchers all season with a .818 OPS against them. The Detroit Tigers starters were all right-handers, but their best hitting performance was .287 and a postseason record 55 strikeouts in the ALCS.
The Red Sox hitting power in this postseason has come in the later innings. Fenway is one of the best power launch pads in the league. Thanks to the All-Star game, the Sox will be able to have a DH in four of the seven games. This is important because when they play in Busch Stadium, manager John Farrell will have to decide who plays first base. David “Big Papi” Ortiz’ clutch hitting in the World Series is legendary, but having him in the lineup takes your current best hitter Mike Napoli out of the game. Napoli batted .300 in the ALCS including two home runs.
The Cards will benefit from the return of Allen Craig to DH when they go on the road. He missed six weeks due to injury after leading the league with a .454 average with runners in scoring position.
The Red Sox to win in six games.
2013 World Series Schedule
10/23 Cardinals (Wainwright) @ Red Sox (Lester) 7:07 PM
10/24 Cardinals (Wacha) @ Red Sox (Lackey) 7:07 PM
10/26 Red Sox (Buchholz) @ Cardinals (Kelly) 7:07 PM
10/27 Red Sox (Peavy) @ Cardinals (Lynn) 7:15 PM
*10/28 Red Sox @ Cardinals 7:07 PM
*10/30 Cardinals @ Red Sox 7:07 PM
*10/31 Cardinals @ Red Sox 7:07 PM
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