After going 3-1 in the Divisional Series’ I struggled with the League Championship Series’ going 0-2, bringing my post season record to 3-3. Can I finish above .500? Here is my World Series prediction.
Traditionally good pitching is what propels a team to the World Series. This post season has been the year of the hitters. We have not seen the stellar pitching performances, instead we have seen some tremendous offensive outputs. That is why we have a match up of the two hottest lineups in the Fall Classic. Both the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals have been knocking the cover off the ball, while getting just enough pitching to get by.
I have picked against the Cardinals all post season long and they have proven me wrong on both occasions. They are getting unlikely production offensive from players like David Freese(NLCS MVP) and a resurgent Rafael Furcal, while Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman continue to play like the stars they are. I think the key to this series is Matt Holliday. If he can get on base and knock in runs it’ll be hard for the Rangers to pitch around Pujols. The Cards also have the best pitcher in this series in Chris Carpenter. It is imperative that they get solid work out of Carpenter because guys like, Kyle Lohse, Jaime Garcia, and Edwin Jackson can get roughed up by Texas’ lineup.
Texas’ lineup is going to be a handful. From top to bottom the Rangers’ are tough to get out and they are active on the base paths. They hottest batter in their lineup is Nelson Cruz(ALCS MVP). After a slow start in their ALDS series with Tampa, Cruz exploded for a post season series record, 6 home runs and 13 rbi’s in the ALCS. Cruz has also been coming up large in the clutch, blasting two extra inning home runs to help eliminate the Detroit Tigers. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Cruz is usually the 7th batter in Texas’ lineup! They still have to deal with Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Mike Napoli before they even get to Cruz. Although the Cardinals have the best pitcher in the series, the Rangers have the better bullpen. On any given night the Rangers can bring in flame throwers, Alexi Ogando, Scott Fedlman, Mike Adams, and old reliable Darren Oliver out of the pen. If Texas reaches the ninth inning with the lead, the game is over with Neftali Feliz closing games.
In the end I feel that the magical St. Louis run will end in the World Series. The Texas Rangers lineup is just to potent and will give the cards fits all series. I also like the Rangers’ bullpen a little bit more than the Cardinals’. The second time will be the charm for the Texas Rangers as the World Series trophy will bring all it’s glory and prestige to the Lone Star State.
Rangers over Cardinals 4-2.