2013 World Series: Previewing the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox Matchup

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Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals Matchup Preview

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

When the 2013 MLB regular season was all said and done, the Boston Red Sox led the American League with a 97-65 record. Ironically, the National League was led by the St. Louis Cardinals who had an identical 97-65 record. Now here we are just a few days before Game 1 of the 2013 MLB World Series and the two teams with the best records in baseball during the regular season are now set for a head on collision. We can use the cliché, “the irresistible force meets the immoveable object”, or quite frankly we can just call it what it is: The best two teams in all of baseball fighting for the biggest price the game of baseball has to offer.

This isn’t the first time these two teams meet in this same situation. In 1946 and 1967 St. Louis defeated Boston to win the World Series, and both times it took all seven games. However, in 2004 when the Red Sox finally ended the “Curse of the Bambino”, they did it with a clean sweep over the Cardinals.

Boston has gotten to this exact moment by defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in four games in the NLDS and defeating the Detroit Tigers in the NLCS in six games. The Cardinals, on the other hand, were taken to the brink of elimination in the NLDS by their division rival, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Unfortunately for the Pirates, St. Louis was able to pull out a series victory in the decisive fifth game. The NLCS was a matchup between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cardinals. Los Angeles was defeated in six games in large part due to Cardinals’ Michael Wacha defeating Clayton Kershaw twice in the same series.

There are so many variables in this World Series that makes it a must watch showdown. All eyes will be on Carlos Beltran as he enters his first ever World Series. After what he did in the NLCS, will Wacha be able to dominate again? Can Boston win a championship one year removed from being one of the worst teams in the American League? All of that and so much more is exactly what October baseball is all about. Whether it ends in four games or goes all the way to seven, one of these two teams will walk away champion, and there sure will be drama and excitement to go along with it.

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Red Sox Lineup

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Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

Boston has a well rounded lineup that has the ability to give the Cardinals' pitching staff fits. Power hitters such as David Ortiz and Mike Napoli along with solid contact hitters like Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino go hand in hand with the speedy Jacoby Ellsbury to make a very formidable offense.

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Cardinals Lineup

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Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Yadier Molina would be considered the leader of the team, but he's not the only threat in the lineup. "Mr. October" Carlos Beltran will make his first appearance in a World Series, and he is always a hard out to make each and every time he's at the plate. When you throw the likes to Matt Holliday and the returning Allen Craig into this lineup, it very well could be just as dangerous as Boston's lineup.

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Red Sox Rotation

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester and John Lackey have pitched well thus far for Boston this postseason. Clay Buchholz and Jake Peavy, on the other hand, haven't done as well as Boston would hope for, but this is the World Series and all four of these pitchers are quality starters. Any of them have enough talent to pitch the Red Sox to victory on any given night in this series.

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Cardinals Rotation

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Wainwright will start Game 1 for the Cardinals; that's great news for St. Louis and bad news for Boston. It doesn't stop there though. NLCS MVP Michael Wacha has been as close to unhittable this postseason as any pitcher can be. Joe Kelly and Lance Lynn are adequate starters, and having Shelby Miller in the bullpen ready for a possible start is always a plus.

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Red Sox Bullpen

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

ALCS MVP Koji Uehara leads what has been a very good bullpen this postseason for Boston. Craig Breslow and Junichi Tazawa have been solid at holding leads for the Red Sox.

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Cardinals Bullpen

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Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Rosenthal has been good in his short time as a closer for St. Louis. Carlos Martinez has provided clutch pitching in late innings while lefty Randy Choate has made short but very sweet appearances for the Cardinals. One big question is whether or not this is the series where the absence of Jason Motte comes back to haunt the team.

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World Series Schedule

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 @ Red Sox: Oct. 23

Game 2 @ Red Sox: Oct. 24

Game 3 @ Cardinals: Oct. 26

Game 4 @ Cardinals: Oct. 27

Game 5 @ Cardinals (If Needed): Oct. 28

Game 6 @ Red Sox (If Needed): Oct. 30

Game 7 @ Red Sox (If Needed): Oct. 31

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My World Series Prediction

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The two teams who tied for the best regular season record are the last two standing. Both teams have been great this postseason and have earned this trip to the World Series. When I think about who's going to end up winning this series, the only thing I know for sure is there won't be a sweep like in 2004.

When all the dust settles, I expect the St. Louis Cardinals to defeat the Boston Red Sox in six games.





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