Monday, October 17, 2011

The World Series Pick

This will be the third straight series in which the Cardinals are not the betting favorites. Of course, they weren't the betting favorites to even be here; the biggest collapse in September history clinched that. (Don't worry, Theoretically Existent Braves Fan: Red Sox Fan is doing everything in his considerable power to make sure that the only choke memory will be theirs. Consider it a public service.) They also just got done with a series where none of their starters were, well, good, and it just didn't matter, because they turned the Brewers into paste, albeit with help from the Brewer defense.

In this series, they will have home field, destiny, defense and an offensive core that's just scary hot right now. You know about Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday (shh, he started to mash in the last little while), but David Freese has been the monster for weeks now. He hit .545 in the NLCS to take the MVP, and Yadier Molina and Raffy Furcal have been contributing, too. Oh, and then there's this: they've more or less trotted out a cavalcade of relievers who were mostly all effective, so much so that closer Jason Motte never faced the Brewers 3-4-5 hitters. Crazy. And sure, small sample sizes, and who the hell cares. Every playoff is.

Final points about the Cards: is this team even in the position to have to come back if Adam Wainwright doesn't get hurt in the spring? And how the hell is this ownership group even considering letting Tony LaRussa go, seeing how the results are just off the charts... let alone Pujols?

The Series that no coast will watch and few networks will lead with could be all kinds of entertaining, really. Texas goes deep in offense too, but has starting pitching that's actually been good more often than not, and unlike the Brewers, they don't tend to kick the ball all over the yard. Derek Holland has a bid to become a very big name, and while CJ Wilson hasn't been real good this postseason, he's the kind of guy that can be very effective against hitters who haven't seen him much. The Cards should get a good start out of Chris Carpenter, but Carp is 35 and heavily worked, and seems to be on the good start / bad start teeter totter at this point in the year. Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz are putting all kinds of hurt on the ball, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton aren't exactly shrinking in the spotlight, and Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus have been setting the table. They've got a little more rest, especially in the pen, and better starting pitching.

You're supposed to, in late October, take the team that's got the better SPs. But this series looks to me like something out of the Angels-Giants Roid Era, where the Rangers just try to stay away from the Pujols Monster and get into more trouble when everyone else hits with men on base. And in sloppy games with tons of runs on the board, I'll take LaRussa over Ron Washington, and the team that's been smelling like all kinds of destiny for two months now. Cardinals in seven, with an over/under on runs scored between the two teams at 75. It's the '06 Cardinals Blue Snow year all over again, folks.


vicki said...

i'll take the over. if it goes seven, WAY over.

and forgive the pedantry but you mean yadier, of course.

cool blog.

DMtShooter said...

Fixed; thank you, and thank you.

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