World Series Preview and Predictions: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Texas Rangers
The Texas Rangers are the defending American League Champions. With the 1,2,3 punch of Michael Young, Adrian Beltre, and Josh Hamilton, the Rangers were again the best team in the American League this year. In the playoffs this year Nelson Cruz has shown his abilities to be a star player with his MVP honors in the ALCS. Cruz had 6 home runs in the NLCS. With the dominant starters the Rangers have, who can stop them? When it comes to the 2011 playoffs the starting rotation has not been themselves. In the NLCS no starter went more than 6 innings and an ERA of 6.59.That's the second-worst rotation ERA in the ALCS by any team that would advance to the World Series.
St. Louis Cardinals
As mentioned before, The St. Louis Cardinals were counted out, and made a huge run in september to become Wild Card Champions and are now National League Champions. With their 1,2,3 punch of Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, and Matt Holliday, the Cardinals have also had breakout stars. The NLCS MVP was David Freese, who has also exploded this NLCS. For the Cardinals their starters have not done well either. The bullpen actually pitched more innings in the starters which is a MLB record.
Game 1: Wilson vs. Carpenter
On Wednesday, October 19th, The 2011 World Series begins. At Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Game 1 will be played with the Rangers putting their ace C.J. Wilson on the mound. The Cardinals will send their ace Chris Carpenter to the mound. On paper it looks like this could be a pitchers duel, but as this season has shown, you never know what to expect. With the two best offensive teams in baseball, there is the possibility that one or both aces may not last as long as what their skipper would like.
The Cardinals are set to have home field advantage due to the All Star game this year when the NL won. Oddly enough the game was won by a 3 run home run by Prince Fielder from the Brewers, the team the Cardinals just defeated. Fielder hit that 3 run home run off of game 1 starter for Texas, C.J Wilson. Will the home field advantage play to be a factor this year? This looks to be a very evenly matched series. It will be interesting to see what unfolds. I've been trying to stay as un-biased as I can. I am a huge Cardinals fan and what they have accomplished this year up until now is so special. The Cardinals have a ton of momentum, and if theres anyone who can stop them it is the Rangers. I'm not going to make any predictions, but I do see this game going to a game 7. With the season we have had so far, this is sure to be a great World Series. Who will prevail as we near closer to the fall classic?