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Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:29

Boston Red Sox vs. St. Louis Cardinals World Series Game One Preview

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Well the Red Sox beat the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS in six games and today for the Sox is gameday. The city of Boston is patiently waiting for the first pitch of Game one of the World Series tonight at 8:07. Jon Lester is taking the hill for the Sox tonight and he will be matching up against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright who has been lights out this postseason with a 1.57 ERA in 3 starts only allowing one walk. Lester too has pitched well especially since in games he pitches in, there's a DH and not an automatic out in the pitcher hitting. Despite having to face Miggy and Prince on the Tigers, Lester's ERA is an ace-quality 2.33. Although National League teams typically lack a DH, Allen Craig is fresh off the DL and is going to take that role when playing at Fenway. Craig may have only hit 13 homers in 130 games but his .378 OBP is nothing to scoff at and Matt Adams, the first baseman, adds another 17 homers as well as a .335 OBP which is about a benchmark for good OBP (I like to think of .336 as the mark). Of course Allen Craig may be a big thing in St. Louis but Boston has Big Papi, David Ortiz who despite a rough ALCS has 3 homers in 10 postseason games. By far the best hitter for the Sox this postseason has been Jacoby Ellsbury with a .400 average, 6 stolen bases and 4 extra base hits in ten games which of course is a concern of mine with him being a free agent this offseason and all. Unfortunately for the Sox this series, Ellsbury, Berry, and Victorino may not prove to be so valuable when Yadier Molina who threw out 43% of runners this season is behind the plate. Luckily for the Sox even though Jarrod Saltalamacchia does not have a cannon of an arm, St. Louis isn't much of a base threat. Their leading base stealer was Jon Jay who was 10 for 15 in swipe attempts so unless they are desperate, there should be no problems in that department. Power also is not too much of a factor with the Cardinals but what they do is walk a lot. Nine players on their team with at least 99 games played or more have a .335 OBP and above whereas Boston has eight guys with those numbers but had Mike Carp played more games, he would also fall into this category.   Overall, this game should be higher scoring than games in the Detroit series, but do not expect a slugfest tonight by any means. Wainwright only allowed 35 walks in the regular season so drawing walks off him is not an effective way to knock him out of the game early. The best way to do that would be to come out aggressive and swing the bat to try and get some hits, and ideally a homerun off him. As for Lester who walks more guys, he needs to be careful and throw more strikes since these guys will make him pitch to them since they are not so high and mighty when they have to get hits and not walks. Lastly, I would just like to point out Peter Kouzma has a .217 average and a .275 OBP so when the Sox head to St. Louis, it will be as though there are only 7 hitters in the lineup. Go Sox!

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