State your Case: Which team will win the 2013 World Series?
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 23:10
by Logan Jones
Boston’s offensive style is any pitcher’s worst nightmare. The Sox do their damage late in games after working their opponents deep into the pitch count, resulting in pitchers being too physically exhausted to hang with Boston’s unrelenting offense.
St. Louis’ best hope to win this series is with their pitching, and even Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha can’t hope to throw upwards of 120 pitches at Boston’s explosive hitters and expect to come out on top. Wacha, who relies heavily on his fastball, should be especially concerned since the Red Sox sit at the top of the league in runs against fastballs.
As for experience, Boston’s Jon Lester has actually pitched in a World series before, clinching the title for Boston in 2007. Not only has St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright never pitched on baseball’s biggest stage, he’s never even pitched at Fenway Park before, and home field advantage this series is huge.
21 of the past 26 teams to win the World Series have had home field advantage, and the home team has won the past nine Game Sevens in a row. Even at an elite level, no pitcher approaches a World Series opener in a hostile environment like Fenway like it’s just another game.
For St. Louis to have any chance in this series, they’ll have to find a way to score on Boston reliever Koji Uehara. Unlikely, considering since Aug. 3, Uehara has recorded 44 strikeouts without a single walk and has allowed the fewest hits and walks per nine innings of any pitcher in history.
Good luck, Cardinals — with dominant pitching, home field advantage, the highest producing offense in the game and the ability to run even the best pitchers ragged, the Red Sox are due for another championship.
By Jeff Dahdah
The Cardinals have been historically good this year with runners in scoring position — the best ever, in fact. They batted .331 in such situations, and it is the reason that they led the National League in runs scored with the third-lowest home run total.
The Cardinals bullpen is downright scary. They have five guys who throw in the upper 90s in the bullpen, including two who hit triple-digits. They boast the pitcher with the best ground-ball and double play percentage in Seth Manness, the pitcher with the lowest ERA at 0.45 of pitchers who threw over 35 innings in one hundred years in Kevin Seigrist, and the pitcher who was third in the league for strikeouts in relief in Trevor Rosenthal.
The Cardinals starting rotation is nasty.
Adam Wainwright, a 19-game winner, Game-One starter and rotation ace, has the best curveball in baseball and plenty of playoff success. Michael Wacha has allowed one run in his last 29.2 innings and out-pitched Clayton Kershaw twice in the NLDS. Joe Kelly was 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA after the all-star break.
Let’s not forget to mention Matt Carpenter, the league leader in hits, doubles and runs, Yadier Molina, the best defensive catcher in baseball and the return of Allen Craig, who batted .441 with runners in scoring position this year, just to name some players who will impact the series for the Red Birds.
The only real advantage the Red Sox have is John Lester. The Cardinals have the fourth-lowest batting average against lefties this year, but look at the last left handed starter they played — Clayton Kershaw. The Cardinals put up seven earned runs on Kershaw, the likely CY Young award winner. The Cardinals seem to be over their leftie slump.
The Cardinals can out-pitch and out-hit the Red Sox. They are going to win this series.