They have 18 World Series titles between them, with the 19th guaranteed to come at the end of October. They both finished the year with 97 wins, sharing the distinction of having the best record in Major League Baseball. Starting on Oct. 23 at Fenway Park in Boston, these two storied franchises will battle for the World Series.
The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals last met in the World Series in 2004, when the Red Sox swept the Cardinals to claim baseball’s top prize. Since then the Red Sox won the World Series in 2007, while the Cardinals last won the crown in 2011 when they defeated the Texas Rangers.
In the 2013 postseason, the Red Sox eliminated the resilient Tampa Bay Rays in four games in the American League Division Series, and then took advantage of injuries to a very skilled Detroit Tigers club in a thrilling six-game series. On the National League side, the Cardinals fought off a vastly improved Pittsburgh Pirates team, who took St. Louis the distance in a five-game National League Division Series. The Cardinals then used their experience and determination to fight off the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning the series in six games and beating the Dodgers 9–0 in the final game.
This World Series will be an evenly matched one. There is plenty of experience on both rosters, from the pitching down through the batting order. For pitching matchups, look out for Adam Wainwright — the ace of the Cardinals staff — who has controlled the game with solid starts this postseason, sporting a 2–1 record with a 1.57 earned run average. He needs to continue his solid play by having a strong outing in game 1 to give St. Louis some early momentum coming into a hostile Fenway Park.
For St. Louis the pitcher to watch is sensational rookie Michael Wacha, who has been the talk of the playoffs because of his stingy performances. Wacha will have to keep up his exceptional play to survive the tenacious and tough Boston lineup.
As for St. Louis’s batting order, veterans such as Matt Holliday will have to lead the way by providing clutch hits. Other players who will have to come up big with the bat are Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina, who are both batting .256.
The Red Sox are a hard-hitting team. Boston will be lead by the big bats of David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Dustin Pedroia and Jonny Gomes. On the hill, lefty Jon Lester will take his 2.33 ERA into game 1 as he has been the most steady on the staff and will have to go through a Cardinals line up who are resilient at the plate.
This series will be a close one as both defences are well coached and the offence is plentiful. I predict that the Cardinals will win in 6 games. They have the type of lineup that can play some dangerous small ball — collecting singles and walks to consistently get on base — that could prove be the difference.