St. Louis Cardinals
(97-76, NL Wild Card Winner)
(103-69, AL West Winner)
Anyone who told you that they had the St. Louis Cardinals playing against the Texas Rangers in World Series betting action is probably a bold faced liar. That being said, these are the two teams that are left standing, and one will claim baseball’s biggest prize. Check out how we shake the MLB odds out in the Fall Classic.
Pitching Edge: As scary as it is, neither one of these teams have really pitched all that well in the postseason. Texas has been made by its bullpen, though, which really pitched a virtually flawless series in the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers. Scott Feldman has thrown 8.2 scoreless innings in four relief appearances, while Alexi Ogando, Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver, and Mike Adams have surrendered a grand total of five runs in 28.1 innings of work. Team President, Nolan Ryan made it a point to make sure that he had a strong pitching staff, but the crew really does lack an ace. None of the five starters have an ERA better than Colby Lewis’ 3.86, and Game 1 starter, CJ Wilson is 0-2 with an 8.04 ERA. We definitely think that the Cards have the better starting staff, as there is a lot of confidence right now in the likes of Chris Carpenter and Jamie Garcia. The bad news, though? There wasn’t a single game in the NLCS in which St. Louis had a starting pitcher go longer than five innings. Without tremendous defined roles in the bullpen either, we have to stick with the two-time AL champs in this one. Advantage: Texas
Lineup Edge: Nelson Cruz is legitimately having one of the best postseasons in memory. He broke a record by blasting six dingers in six games in the ALCS, and he now has 13 RBIs for the postseason. Here’s the only thing that concerns us: Aside from the three home runs that Adrian Beltre hit against the Tampa Bay Rays and the six that Cruz had against the Tigers, the rest of this team only has a grand total of five home runs. That just isn’t going to cut it for a squad that has been built on the long ball. David Freese made himself a hero in the NLCS, and he now has four home runs and 14 RBIs in the postseason. Of course, Albert Pujols is doing his part and is surely counting the dollar signs in the deal that he is going to make in the offseason since he is a free agent. He’s “only” hitting .419 with a .721 slugging percentage and a .490 OBP. Four in the lineup are hitting at least .350, and the team exploded for over seven runs per game in the NLCS, a far cry from what we saw in the first round of the playoffs against the Philadelphia Phillies when it felt like whichever team scored first was going to win the game. This is too tough to call. We tend to think that Texas has the better set of bats, but the Cards are too hot to ignore. Advantage: Push
Series History: Since Interleague play got started, the Cards and Tigers have only faced each other once. St. Louis took two out of the three games played in Arlington. This is actually going to be the first time that the Rangers have played in St. Louis in team history. There is plenty of World Series experience to go around on both of these teams. Obviously, the Rangers were here last year, but this isn’t the first rodeo at this level for the likes of Pujols, Carpenter, and the gang. In the end, we give the nod to the team with the more recent experience because we don’t have a heck of a lot else to work with, and three games in 2004 doesn’t make a bit of difference to either team. Advantage: Texas
Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals World Series Schedule
Game 1 (Wednesday): Texas Rangers (CJ Wilson) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Chris Carpenter)
Game 2 (Thursday): Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Kyle Lohse)
Game 3 (Saturday): St. Louis Cardinals (Jamie Garcia) @ Texas Rangers (Derek Holland)
Game 4 (Sunday): St. Louis Cardinals (Edwin Jackson) @ Texas Rangers (Matt Harrison)
Game 5 (Monday, if necessary): St. Louis Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) @ Texas Rangers (CJ Wilson)
Game 6 (Wednesday, if necessary): Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Kyle Lohse)
Game 7 (Thursday, if necessary): Texas Rangers (Derek Holland) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Jamie Garcia)
Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick: Both of these teams feel like they’ve got Lady Luck on their side this year. There’s just something about the fact that Carpenter could reasonably pitch in three games in this series that is spooky to us. The Cards are the only team with the legitimate ace, and their bats are humming right now like we haven’t seen in the postseason in quite some time. Unless Texas’ bats get the job done, we just don’t see how the arms are going to hold up against Pujols and the gang. Go crazy, St. Louis. You’re about to win the World Series.
MLB Playoffs Pick: St. Louis Cardinals in 6 Games
Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.