The St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox are no strangers to winning the World Series over the past decade and they both have the opportunity to add another ring to the collection.
The Cardinals won the World Series twice already in the past decade as they were crowned champs in 2006 and 2011. The Red Sox can say the same as they won in 2004 and 2007.
These ball clubs have been the model of consistency apart from the Red Sox debacle a year ago. One could make an argument that the Cardinals have been more consistent considering they have won the NL Central eight times and have reached the playoffs as a Wild Card three times in the last 14 seasons.
However, the Cardinals never had to deal with the New York Yankees being in their division like the Red Sox. In that same span, the Red Sox have won their division only twice, but have reached the playoffs five times as a Wild Card.
How have these two ball clubs been so consistent? The answer is quite simple really. They both have players who play the game the right way by giving max effort day in and day out and rarely making mental mistakes.
It’s hard to tell which team has the upper hand. The Cardinals had excellent starting pitching through the postseason led by Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha and Joe Kelly. The Boston Red Sox do also, led by Jon Lester, John Lackey and Clay Bucholz.
Each team has dynamic hitters who thrive when the spotlight is the brightest. Switch-hitting Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals is arguably the most clutch postseason ever to play. The same argument can be made for the Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz or as most call him “Big Papi.”
Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is regarded as the best catcher in all of baseball behind the plate and in the batter’s box. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is also regarded as the best player at his position with excellent defense and timely hitting.
With all the talent on both teams, who really has the edge? Arguments can be made for both teams, but to me, the Cardinals have the slightest of edges with their power pitching that is unrivaled in the sport.
Wainwright has proved throughout his career that he can go toe to toe with any opposing hitter with his plus fastball, knee jerking breaking ball, a highly deceptive changeup and his ability to throw any pitch in his repertoire in any count with pinpoint accuracy.
Wacha, a rookie sensation, has been nearly unhittable throughout the postseason. In the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Wacha didn’t allow a run in his 13 2/3 innings. In the NLDS against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wacha took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Pedro Alvarez, the NL leader in home runs this season, hit a solo shot to break it up.
While the Red Sox have outstanding pitching of their own, the Cardinals’ rotation is in a league of their own and that will be the difference maker in this World Series.
Anything can happen in October as history has proven time and time again, but the Cardinals should be able to win their third World Series in the last seven years. This series will be highly competitive, but look for the Cardinals to win in six games, 4-2.