MLB St Louis Cardinals

2013 World Series: 5 Players Who Will Make or Break St. Louis Cardinals’ Hopes of Winning

1 of 6

Cardinals' World Series Hopes Rely on These Five Players

Cardinals' World Series Hopes Rely on These Five Players
Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

After getting through the NLDS in five games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves taking on the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 World Series. The Cardinals have gotten to this point in the postseason due to having a great all-around team. Whether St. Louis has needed a clutch hit or a clutch outing from a starting pitcher, everything has worked out thus far for the Cardinals. Now with the World Series starting in just a few days, one has to wonder if these players can continue helping St. Louis reach the pinnacle, or if their luck will run out and they come up short in their hopes for a World Series victory.

Allen Craig has stated that he is healthy and ready to help the Cardinals, which means Matt Adams' bat finds its way back to the bench. That could very well come in handy for St. Louis if a clutch pinch-hit or spot start is needed. Adam Wainwright will be ready to start Game 1 of the World Series, which works out very well in the Cardinals favor. One big question and concern should be the closer role for St. Louis. Trevor Rosenthal has done a decent job, but without the proven Jason Motte in ninth-inning situations, the Cardinals should still be timid when it comes to moments like that.

Regardless of the outcome, these five players can make or break any hope the Cardinals have of winning the World Series.

2 of 6

5. Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Wainwright being able to start Game 1 of the World Series is huge. If he picks up the win on the road, St. Louis starts with the momentum and takes away the home-field advantage right off the bat. However, if he loses or struggles in Game 1, it may very well go a long way in deciding the outcome of the entire series.

3 of 6

4. Allen Craig

Allen Craig
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

What better time to make your postseason debut then the World Series? Allen Craig returns to the Cardinals' lineup healthy and ready to play, and the question is whether or not it will improve or hamper what they already have. If Craig picks up where he left off in the regular season, then the Cardinals will be in great shape. But if he comes back and struggles right away, then it may just throw the whole lineup out of whack.

4 of 6

3. Trevor Rosenthal

Trevor Rosenthal
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Rosenthal has done good in his short time as the Cardinals' closer, but is the World Series too big of a stage for him? Will this finally be the time when Jason Motte's absence becomes an issue?

5 of 6

2. Carlos Beltran

Carlos Beltran
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Beltran is considered by some as the new "Mr. October", but he's never been to the World Series. Will the biggest stage in the MLB postseason have any sort of affect on him, or will he just continue doing what he does in the month of October?

6 of 6

1. Michael Wacha

Michael Wacha
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Wacha is coming off an incredible NLCS where he won MVP and defeated Clayton Kershaw not once, but twice in the same series. He has claimed his spot as the no. 2 in this rotation, but will his incredible postseason continue, or will he finally run into a rough patch that may cost the Cardinals the World Series?