Fortunately for us, the World Series is giving us perhaps the best matchup we have seen in quite some time. The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals were the best teams in the American and National Leagues, respectively – and justified their win-loss records in the preceding rounds of this postseason. Couple that with both teams’ rich baseball traditions and huge fan bases, this should be a highly-watched World Series – the first in a loooooooong-ass time.
What I like about this matchup is the fact that both teams are evenly matched when it comes to their offenses. Both teams possess power. Boston’s’ Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Daniel Nava both are batting over .300. A few more players (Shane Victorino, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jarrod Scott Saltalamacchia) are batting over .270. Meanwhile, the Cardinals had all but two of their starting offensive players batting over .275. Four of those players (Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter) batted over .300.
Basically, the majority of Boston’s and St. Louis’ nine starting offensive players are a tough out – literally and figuratively.
However, there is one advantage the Cardinals have over the Red Sox: starting pitching. They have three guys (Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, and Lance Lynn) who is capable of shutting down ANY starting lineup in MLB. Two fo those guys won at least 15 games (Wainwright and Lynn won 19 and 15, respectively). Wacha could easily (along with Carlos Beltran) be the Cardinals’ postseason MVP for his outings against the Pirates and Dodgers.
Boston just doesn’t have the horses in its starting rotation to even ADEQUATELY compete with St. Louis. Beyond Jon Lester and Clay Bucholtz, what does Boston have? John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Felix Doubront? No thank you.
Are both teams tough as nails? Hell yeah! Both teams seem to always find ways to win when many of the naysayers (especially yours truly), counted them out.
However, based on pitching alone, I’m rolling with the Cardinals to win their 12th World Series. Cardinals in 7.