Monday, October 17, 2011

World Series Preview: Rangers and Cards

The Fall Classic begins on Wednesday as the Texas Rangers travel to St. Louis to take on the hot Cardinals. The Cardinals shouldn't even be in the playoffs, but a meltdown by the Atlanta Braves in the final week of the season allowed St. Louis to sneak in on the final day of the season. Just five years ago, the Cardinals won the World Series vs. Detroit, after winning just 83 games in the regular season. The Cardinals are underdogs once again, but this time they hold home field advantage as well, due to the National League's victory in the All-Star game.

The Texas Rangers have the best offense in baseball. They can score at any time, as they combine power, speed, and timely hitting. Nelson Cruz is absolutely tearing up the ball, with 6 bombs and 13 RBI in the playoffs. The Rangers' pitching staff is holding its own, allowing the offense to take over ballgames. This lineup 1 through 9 is deadly, with each hitter a threat to hit one out of the park.

The Cardinals don't have a single aspect that defines the entire team, but they do have one thing the Rangers don't have: Albert Pujols. "The Machine" is the greatest player in the game and he hasn't disappointed in the playoffs. Pujols is hitting .419 with 10 RBI, with his teammate David Freese driving in 14 as well. This lineup is hitting the ball well, but their strength is pitching. Even without Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals rotation keeps the team in it. The bullpen is pitching well, as Jason Motte has 4 saves in the playoffs.

Despite both teams having played high scoring affairs in the past week, this series will come down to pitching. Can the Cardinals limit the Rangers offense? Can the Rangers pitching refrain from blowing up?

Prediction: The Cardinals are a complete baseball team, but the Rangers are just too good to lose this series. Their offense will overpower this series and I wouldn't be surprised to see a couple of blowouts.

Give me the Rangers in 5.

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