By Jonathan Lee
The Rangers will take on the Cardinals in the World Series. Texas is back in the Fall Classic for the second year in a row. St. Louis is back for the first time since winning it all in 2006.
Preliminary AccuScore projections have Texas winning 59.5 percent of the time. The National League won the All-Star game which means St. Louis will start out with homefield advantage, and host Games 1, 2, 6, and 7. Texas will host the middle three games. St. Louis’ rotation was thrown out of whack for both the division and league championship series. That won’t be the case here as Chris Carpenter is expected to start Game 1 followed by Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse, and Edwin Jackson. Texas has had the benefit of rest, and will likely go with C.J. Wilson in Game 1 followed by Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, and Matt Harrison.
This series will feature two of the hottest hitters in baseball. Nelson Cruz set an LCS record with six home runs while David Freese hit a blistering .545 with 6 extra-base hits. Texas will likely bench first baseman Mitch Moreland or outfielder David Murphy while playing in St. Louis. The Cardinals will probably turn to Allen Craig as the extra hitter when playing in Arlington.
Below are the game-by-game projections for the World Series. Keep in mind that these can change depending on the starting pitchers and lineup changes or injuries (Skip Schumaker, etc.).
Game 1 - STL 54%
Game 2 - STL 50%
Game 3 - TEX 61%
Game 4 - TEX 67%
Game 5 - TEX 59%
Game 6 - STL 50%
Game 7 - STL 51%
While St. Louis is favored in each game at home, the margins are slim particularly in Games 2 and 6 which are virtual toss-ups. On the other hand, Texas is favored to win at least 59 percent of simulations in each of its home games. The biggest spread in the series is Game 4 with Texas winning 67 percent of the time. That game is projected to be a match-up between Matt Harrison and Edwin Jackson.
Both teams have gotten to this position behind strong offenses and terrific bullpen work. The biggest edge will probably depend on which starting rotation performs best in this final series of the year.