This is the World Series we wanted. For the first time in over a decade, the teams with the two best records in baseball will fight it out in the Fall Classic. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox are so evenly matched that it can’t be a repeat of 2004, can it? That’s when the Sox swept the Cards to become champions for the first time in 86 years. This has the makings of a long series……or does it? By writing my thoughts about this World Series, will my thoughts turn an epic matchup into a stink bomb?
Why I like the Red Sox: Let’s face it, no matter what fan you are, this is a fun team to watch, beards and all. They look as though they are having a blast but they also know how to play, play the game correctly and most of all, know how to win. Minor issues like David Ortiz having to play first base in St. Louis doesn’t bother them. Perhaps not having Mike Napoli‘s bat when the series shifts to St. Louis could be a problem. Then again, Napoli didn’t hit much early in the ALCS and the Sox did ended up winning in six games. The lineup will beat you at any game you want to play. The signings of Napoli, Shane Victorino and Stephen Drew while not adding a tremendous amount of power, made it a much more difficult group to navigate for opposing pitchers. The starting pitching with previous champions Jon Lester and John Lackey is battle-tested and will fight with every pitch. Nearly unhittable, ALCS MVP Koji Uehara leads a bullpen that will register outs in the blink of an eye. When I think of the 2013 Red Sox, the first word that comes to mind is juggernaut.
Why I like the Cardinals: They are the best organization in baseball, one of the tops in all of sports. Albert Pujols leaves? Plug in Allen Craig. Tony LaRussa retires? Mike Matheny is ready to lead. There are pitchers with more glamorous names but if I want someone to win me a big game, my choice is Adam Wainwright. NLCS MVP Michael Wacha did not allow a single run against the Dodgers. After three previous attempts, Carlos Beltran gets to take his playoff magic act to the grandest stage of them all. Craig, who has not played since September 4th, led the team with 97 RBI’s and is set to be the designated hitter in Boston. Catcher Yadier Molina and second baseman Matt Carpenter are legitimate MVP candidates. Trevor Rosenthal, Carlos Martinez and Kevin Siegrist remind me of another dominant bullpen trio: “The Nasty Boys” from the 1990 World Series Champion Cincinnati Reds. With such young talent and a deep farm system, win or lose, the Cardinals have the makings of a dynasty.
The Prediction: There has been a multitude of analysis leading up to Game 1. You can make an argument for both teams, look at both rosters and still not make a decision until the next government shutdown. These guys are that close. I prefer to keep it simple. I go with the team that has the best starting pitcher. That would be Wainwright. Cards in 7.