World Series Preview: Rangers vs. Cardinals
by Matt Hundley | University of Missouri
All eyes will be on the baseball world tonight as Game 1 of the World Series begins in Saint Louis. This year’s matchup, featuring the Saint Louis Cardinals vs. the Texas Rangers, promises to be exciting. Both team have played nearly identically to make it this far, and there is no question that these two teams are the best at this point of the season. Each game should be an exciting one, so expect an entertaining Fall Classic this year as we crown a World Series champion.
The Texas Rangers have taken a pretty straightforward road to the World Series. After losing in the World Series last year to the San Francisco Giants, Texas once again qualified for the playoffs after winning the AL West in a fairly easy fashion, ending the season 10 games up on second place Anaheim with a 96-66 record. An easy division win took pressure off Texas at the end of the season and allowed them to focus on the playoffs once that time hit. This focus was evident in the ALDS, when Texas won three straight games to make it to the ALCS after dropping Game 1 to Tampa. The Rangers proved why they were the best in the American League in this round, simply outscoring Detroit with their high powered offense in route to a 4-2 series win and securing a World Series birth for the second year in a row.
Saint Louis, on the other hand, had a much tougher run to the World Series. The Cardinals didn’t qualify for the playoffs until the very last day of the regular season, when a late surge pushed them into the Wild Card spot over the collapsing Atlanta Braves. This playoff birth earned the Cardinals a NLDS matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies and the best pitching staff in baseball. Saint Louis was able to keep the Phillies’ rotation in check and played some tough baseball, winning the series in five games. This NLDS victory booked a trip to division rival Milwaukee in the NLCS. The Cardinal offense took charge in the NLCS, scoring run after run on the way to a six game series win and another trip to the World Series.
There is no doubt that this World Series will be an offensive battle. The Cardinals and Rangers have two of the better lineups in baseball, though both teams have a weaker pitching staff to go along with their offense. Expect high scoring battles throughout the series, as both offenses will look to lead the team to victory. This gameplay is especially beneficial for Texas, who have eight solid hitters that can lead the charge at any time. The Ranger offense should outscore the Cardinals on the way to their first title in franchise history. Texas might struggle against Cardinals’ ace Chris Carpenter, but he won’t be enough to shutdown the Rangers all by himself.
Prediction: Rangers in 5Matt Hundley is a NGJ Sports Correspondent and a student at the University of Missouri. He is interested in pursuing a sports journalism career.