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2011 World Series Preview

October 19, 2011

After six plus months of baseball it all comes down to this – a matchup few if any saw coming the St. Louis Cardinals, Champions of the National League and Texas Rangers, Champions of the American League. This should be an interesting series, Texas has a juggernaut of an offense with their position players accounting for 38.9 WAR second only to the Boston Red Sox at 39.2. While they didn’t walk much they led the league with a low 14.9% K% (ahead of St. Louis who is second at 15.7%), also were near the top in the slash line categories posting a .283 batting average (best in baseball), .340 on base percentage (5th best) and .460 slugging percentage (2nd best). Furthermore they were second in wOBA (.348) and third in wRC+ (113). These guys don’t mess around. The Cardinals however, their offense is nothing to scoff at either and though their numbers get weighed down by hitting pitchers, they were tops in the NL in both average (.273) and on-base percentage (.341) and were mere decimal points behind Milwaukee in slugging though tied through three at .425. Their .332 wOBA and 111 wRC+ well outpaced their senior circuit counterparts.

On the pitching side of the ledger both these clubs are more middle of the road, the Cardinals sporting an MLB-8th best 3.75 FIP whereas Texas checks in at a 16th best 3.98, despite equal 3.79 ERAs from both pitching corps. Who wins this one? It is anyone’s guess. The Cardinals thanks to the National League victory in the All-Star Game have home-field advantage which in an evenly paired series may make all the difference – that said Texas is my pick to win this series and I think it will go the full seven.

The Rangers were there last year, their offense is absurdly talented while the Cardinals have had to lean very heavily on their bullpen. Can the Cards bullpen take the load they took in the NLCS again in the World Series, because I don’t see Cardinals starters stopping this offense when they couldn’t handle Milwaukee’s. This series seems like it will be a lengthy war of attrition, with both sides churning through pitcher after pitcher and with all these games lasting late into the night. Should be a good one even if one that none of us expected.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dangerous Dean permalink
    October 24, 2011 11:21 am

    Nice job. I picked Texas to win in 6. I wasn’t sure after Saturday night’s meltdown. But I think it will happen after last night’s superb performance by Holland.

    • October 24, 2011 1:47 pm

      I still think it goes seven. I think there’s a lot of danger in LaRussa’s so heavily relying on his bullpen as Ron Washington found out. Gutsy performance from Holland.

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