October 18, 2011 by Matt Musico
Well, here it is; the World Series is finally here. After a year of speculating which team is good enough to reach this hallowed ground in Major League Baseball, we have our final two teams standing. The Texas Rangers were able to knock off the Tigers in six games to successfully defend their AL crown and return to the second straight World Series. The franchise is looking to capture it’s first world title, and look to avenge the .190 team batting average they put up in their five-game loss in last year’s Fall Classic against the San Francisco Giants.
On the other hand, the Cardinals haven’t been in this position in quite a few years. They won their 10th World Series title in 2006, which is good enough for second behind the 27 championships won by the New York Yankees. St. Louis won their 18th NL Pennant over the weekend when they finished off the Milwaukee Brewers in six games as well. It’s amazing to think of the journey that the Cardinals have been through to get to this point. At the beginning of August, they were 10.5 games back of the Braves in the Wild Card race. Atlanta had a horrendous September, while the Cardinals shined and were able to clinch a play-off berth on the final day of the season. Now, they have found themselves in the World Series.
Since both Texas and St. Louis didn’t have to use their aces in decisive Game 7′s in their respective LCS, they are both set to start Game 1. CJ Wilson is still looking for his first win this postseason and is also going to try to avenge his loss in last year’s World Series against the red-hot Chris Carpenter, who is trying to win his eighth postseason game, which would be a franchise record. This will be an interesting series because these two teams haven’t played each other since 2004. Also, thanks to Prince Fielder’s home run in the All-Star game this year, the Cardinals have home field advantage for the first time this postseason.
As a team, the Cardinals have the highest batting average out of any playoff team this year at .288. The Rangers are sporting a .259 team batting average, but the two teams are both on the top of the list in runs scored and middle of the pack in team ERA. Who is hot at the plate for St. Louis? David Freese (.425, 4, 14) and Albert Pujols (.419, 2, 10). Who is hot for the Rangers? Well, that’s a little more interesting; the four players that are currently sporting an average higher than .300 (Gentry, Torrealba, Napoli, and Murphy) only have a nine RBI combined, but Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, and Nelson Cruz have a lower average collectively, but have 29 RBI between them. Basically, the Rangers are getting hits when runners are on base.
Analysts say every year that the best overall team doesn’t necessarily win the World Series each year, but the hottest team at the time does. The Cardinals have been on a three-month bender where they have been playing some unbelievable baseball, so my pick to win the World Series will be St. Louis in six games. What’s your prediction?
The 107th Fall Classic is set to begin tomorrow night at Busch Stadium in St. Louis at 8:05 pm EST on FOX. Be sure to tune in!