The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox are only a day away from the 2013 World Series. This should be a great series to watch with the way these two teams powered their way through their respective leagues. The St. Louis Cardinals have made it to this point with their great starting pitching lead by the red hot Michael Wacha. The Boston Red Sox have made it to the World Series with their explosive offense and timely hitting. Lets see how these teams match up.
Starting Pitching: Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have had some great starting pitching this season. Adam Wainwright has returned back to his top of the rotation form and NLCS MVP Michael Wacha has been lighting up the radar gun and opposing teams lineups. In addition to those two, they also have another solid two starters in Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn. At this point in the season, I don’t believe there is a stronger one-two pitching combo in the game.
Hitting: Red Sox
Speed, power, average and leadership. All are qualities that the Boston Red Sox lineup brings to the table. Jacoby Ellsbury and Shane Victorino provide the speed to that line up. The power is brought by guys like Mike Napoli and David Ortiz. Leadership, brought to you by the one, the only, Dustin Pedroia. Besides the bottom two in the lineup, there are not many holes in this lineup. The Cardinals pitchers are going to have to hold their breath with the 1-7 hitters and hope for the best.
A lot of heat. Are a few words that could be used to describe this Cardinals bullpen. They have four members of their bullpen that average over 96mph on their fastball. One of those members is closer Trevor Rosenthal. The young closer has come across some tough moments in the playoffs, but he has been strong through these moments. He bares down and gets his outs. This bullpen is one of the best in all of baseball. Very rarely does a bullpen have as much firepower as the Cardinals.
Coaching: Red Sox
Both manager John Farrell and Mike Matheny are relatively inexperienced. Combined, they add up to 5 years experience (Farrell-3, Matheny-2). In this case, I give the slight edge to John Farrell. John has had the Red Sox behind him from day one and it has shown. He brought a discouraged team at the bottom of their division all the way to the World Series the following year. There is a chemistry in that club house that was not there before and Farrell is a big part of bringing that together.
The Red Sox and the Cardinals both have deep benches. Both benches will be lead by slugging first basemen David Ortiz and Allen Craig. With sluggers and speed coming off the bench for both teams, they draw even in this category.
Winner: Red Sox
“Boston Strong.” That is what has been that extra push that the Red Sox needed this season. The fans, the city and the team have all come together in a way that I have never seen before. It gives me goose bumps watching these guys compete with a whole city behind them. I have the Boston Red Sox as the 2013 World Series Champions.