Yesterday I posted a recap of my regular season and playoff predictions.
They were awful. Crap.
Today I am going for one more shot at glory, one more chance to redeem my awful track record of baseball prognostication.
It’s the World Series. It’s Texas and St. Louis. Who will win? Let’s find out…
Pitching – Starters
5.62 – that is the ERA of Texas Rangers starting pitchers in the postseason thus far. That is bad…very bad. But the Cardinals haven’t been that much better, clocking it with a playoff ERA of 5.43. It has definitely been a much different brand of baseball in October. But for as bad as Texas has been in the playoffs, they were equally as good in the regular season.
Ranger starters posted the third best ERA in the American League and are definitely better than they’ve showed. In terms of aces, give me Chris Carpenter over C.J. Wilson. Carpenter was unreal against Philadelphia in Game 5 and Wilson has been awful thus far. But in terms of the next starters on the list, I think I’d prefer Colby Lewis and Matt Harrison to Jaime Garcia and Edwin Jackson, who has the ability to walk any batter in baseball.
Edge – Even
Pitching – Bullpen
Both have been great in the playoffs: Texas – 4-0, 2.34 ERA, .193 BAA, and St. Louis – 4-0, 2.55 ERA, .177 BAA. In addition, both closers have been unbelievable as well, leaving nothing to choose between them. For me, the difference is Alexei Ogando, a converted starter who is being used in relief for the Rangers. In 10.1 IP he is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA and a 12:2 K:BB ratio. That is a weapon that the Cardinals just don’t have. And besides – as Jays fans we saw Octavio Dotel all year. He has to fall apart at some point doesn’t he?
Edge – Rangers
St. Louis has Albert Pujols, the best player in the game who is playing like the best player in the game again. Throw in a seemingly healthy Matt Holliday, NL Comeback Player of the Year Lance Berkman, and NLCS MVP David Freese and the Cardinals look loaded. But production drops off pretty severely after those guys, with light hitting players like Furcal, Theriot, and Molina. Texas, on the other hand, is flat out scary. Nelson Cruz is hitting like Babe Ruth in the playoffs, and add Michael Young, Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, and Josh Hamilton to that, along with the speed of Elvis Andrus? Yikes.
Edge – Rangers
A tough one to call because an awful
lot depends on who plays where. For instance, who plays first for Texas – Napoli, Young, or Mitch Moreland? Will Lance Berkman play OF in Texas, or DH? Questions aside however, Albert Pujols might be the best defensive 1B in the game, and the same can be said for Molina at catcher. But Texas has airtight defense of their own in the infield witih Beltre, Andrus, and Kinsler. I’ll call this a draw.
Edge – Even
There will be two storylines here: 1) can Texas avenge last year’s World Series loss and finally win the big one, and 2) will Albert Pujols lead the Cards to glory in what could be his last games in St. Louis? Texas has a slight experience edge because they were here last year, but St. Louis won in 2006 and a good amount of those players are still with the team.
Edge – Even
This has absolutely nothing to do with who will win, but I thought it would be fun to take a look at it. St. Louis has a few ex-Jays that feature prominently in their squad, lead by Chris Carpenter, and finished by Rzep and Dotel (what ever happened to Corey Patterson?). The Rangers don’t have any players that played for the Blue Jays on their roster…but technically they have two ex-Jays. Michael Young played several years in the minors, and Mike Napoli was a Jay for 5 days back in December. So don’t worry Jays fans – our team will be well represented this year.
Last year I picked Texas to beat the Giants and lost. This year, I think they learn from their mistakes they made last year and get it done. St. Louis has a much weaker rotation than the 2010 Giants, and I think the Rangers will be able to exploit that.
Rangers in 6
Of course, with my track record that means only thing. Congratulations St. Louis Cardinals!