In: MLB Free Picks19 Oct 2011
MLB: Texas Rangers (+108) vs Saint Louis Cardinals (-118) Over – Under 7.5
The World Series starts today. I personally love playoff baseball. I talked about it once already this postseason, but I cannot help being excited. It’s the intensity that makes it special, every pitch matters. It’s a great time of the year.
This year we have the Texas Rangers returning the the World Series after losing to the Giants last year to take on this years National League Champions, the Saint Louis Cardinals.
The fact that the Cardinals are here is an amazing story in itself. They were 8.5 games back in the start of September. They were down 3 games with only 5 games to play. They found a way to get it done but making the playoffs wasn’t enough for this team. They took out the overwhelming NL favorite, the Philadelphia Phillies, in the opening round of the playoffs. That was a huge upset and made me take notice. Saint Louis then on to beat the favored Milwaukee Brewers in 6 games.
The fact they were able to do this in Game 6 is the absolute biggest factor in tonights game. In this Game 1 of the World Series, Chris Carpenter is making the start for the Cardinals. He is the only true pitching ace on either team. Carpenter pitched a beauty in Game 5 of the NLDS, allowing just 3 hits in a complete game shut out. He is Cy Young winner in 2005 and the Cy Young runner up in 2009. 2004-2006 Carpenter was one of the most dominate pitchers in the league. He went 51-18! In 2007 he got hurt and needed Tommy John Surgery and took 2 full seasons to rebound. In 2009, Carpenter came back better than ever posting a career best with a 2.24 ERA!
This year, he has had another successful year posting a 3.45 ERA with 191 strikeouts. What needs to be noted is how much better he has been lately. Carpenter was the best pitcher in baseball in the month of September. He went 3-0 posting an ERA of 2.15, a WHIP of 0.98. The most impressive news is batters are just hitting .219 against him that month.
His opponents batting average is going to be key in this series. This is a very deep Rangers line up. The Rangers lead the league in batting average this season with a .283 batting average. This Rangers score because of their depth and they create chaos on the base paths. Even singles can get you in trouble with this lineup, but the fact that Carpenter has been not allowing many hits of any kind makes you feel good about it.
But here is the decieding factor: CJ Wilson is the ace of the Rangers, but I use the term ace loosely. He is a good number 2, or a great 3rd starter. He is not a true ace as prove by his 0-2 record and 8.04 ERA in the playoffs. He isn’t someone you send to the mound and just assume he is going to dominate. This post season he has allowed 21 hits in just 15.2 innings of work.
The Cardinals have had everything go right for over a month now. This time, they get to throw their ace against a struggling pitcher, in their home ball park in Game 1 of the World Series. Things are going to continue to go right for at least 1 more day for this team.
Pick: Cardinals -118