2011 World Series Preview
With what may go down as the greatest comeback in the history of baseball, the Cardinals overcame a 10.5 game deficit to win the Wild Card, beat arguably the best team in all of baseball in a best of 5 series, and then beat the nastiest, rudest, meanest team to advance to the World Series to face the Texas Rangers. The Rangers and Cardinals are very similar teams so this series will be a great one to watch and really is a match up of two of the best teams in baseball. Both clubs are known for their offense and we should see a lot of runs scored in this 2011 World Series. Let’s take a look at a preview of the 2011 Fall Classic:Starting Pitching:
Both clubs have good starters who just haven’t looked the same in the Post Season. The bullpens won nearly all of the games in the postseason for both teams and will look to be a huge part of the World Series. The Rangers have starters C.J. Wilson(LHP), Derek Holland(LHP), Colby Lewis(RHP), and Matt Harrison(LHP) while the Cardinals have Chris Carpenter(RHP), Jaime Garcia(LHP), Kyle Lohse(RHP), and Edwin Jackson(RHP). With the righty heavy Cardinals rotation facing off of a lefty heavy Rangers rotation, the match ups for both lineups are going to be a very important piece of the World Series.
Other than offense, the Bullpen has been the biggest strength for both of these similar teams in the Post Season. Both teams at the trade deadline went out and made moves to improve their struggling bullpens, the Cardinals acquired Octavio Dotel, Marc Rzepczynski, Arthur Rhodes, and with the addition of Edwin Jackson sent Kyle McClellan back to the bullpen. The Rangers acquired if not the best one of the best set-up men in the game Mike Adams as well as Koji Uehrea and a waiver trade of Mike Gonzalez. The Rangers pen also features last years rookie of the year Neftali Feliz, Darren Oliver, Mark Lowe, Scott Feldman, and a starter back in the pen for the post season, Alexi Ogando. The Cardinals bullpen also features young guns Fernando Salas, Eduardo Sanchez, Lance Lynn, Mitchell Boggs, and new found closer Jason Motte. Expect to see a lot more of both bullpens in this World Series and expect a lot of innings from Dotel, Salas, and Motte.
Both of these teams led their leagues respectively in average, Texas led all of baseball with their .283 average, while the Cardinals led the National League with a .273 team average. The Rangers were second in the AL with home runs with 210 total home runs, the Cardinals were 6th in the NL with 162 home runs. The lineup for the Rangers is strong from 1-9(including DH) featuring Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton(2009 MVP), Adrian Beltre, Michael Young, Nelson Cruz(2011 ALCS MVP), Mike Napoli and David Murphy along with a solid bench featuring veteran Endy Chavez, the young first baseman Mitch Moreland, Craig Gentry, and Esteban German. The Cardinals lineup features some of the best players of this generation and is another force featuring Skip Schumaker, Rafael Furcal, Jon Jay, Albert Pujols(3 time MVP), Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman(2011 Comeback Player of the Year), David Freese(2011 NLCS MVP), Yadier Molina, and a bench featuring veterans Nick Punto, Gerald Laird,Ryan Theriot, talented young power hitter Allen Craig and young speedster Adron Chambers.
Both of these teams can hit the ball and hit it hard, the Rangers have more speed than the Cardinals but both teams are red hot and are scoring a lot of runs per game. Nelson Cruz the ALCS MVP hit 6 home runs and drove in 13 in the ALCS alone setting a record for the most home runs and RBI’s in a single post season series. David Freese the Missouri native hit over .500 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI’s winning the NLCS MVP. So both teams have hot hitters expect a lot of runs, home runs, hits, and walks in this series. IF you are worried about anything whether you are a fan of the Rangers, Cardinals, or both be afraid of the opposing teams offense.
Two similar teams who deserve to be in the World Series are in it. Both teams will play their hearts out, scoring a lot of runs, and getting a lot of clutch hits. If I were to predict the outcome I would say I have no clue but I think the Cardinals will win it in six, but that just might be my bias, though I love the Rangers as well no other team stands anywhere near the Cardinals in my heart and mind, I want to see the Cardinals win the World Series at home and since they have home field advantage for the first time in the postseason this year, they can only win it at home in games 6 and 7, and I really don’t want to see this go to a game 7.