2013 World Series Predictions
Ricky Morin: Red Sox in 5 — The Cardinals’ big two have to pitch at Fenway, where the Sox have been dominant all season. Both teams have great clutch-hitting capability, but Boston will put St. Louis in an early hole that they won’t be able to climb out of. The addition of Allen Craig for the Cardinals won’t be easy for Red Sox pitching to contain, but as long as Boston pitching can keep runners off the bases, St. Louis can be kept at bay. Both teams match up extremely well, and the home-field advantage, coupled with emotional motivation, will drive the Red Sox to a series victory in five games.
Daveson Perez: Red Sox in 6 — “From worst to first.” That is the popular phrase that is coming out of the mouths of Red Sox fans this week. But, in order to truly be recognized as being “first” they have to get through their World Series rivals; the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox have had 11 trips to the fall classic in their history. 3 of them were against the Cardinals. Who will come out on top in this 4th go around? I’ve got to say the Red Sox, but by a small margin.
The resilient Red Sox as I like to call them have been able to rely on a great bullpen, a motivated starting rotation, very timely hitting and a highly unlikely closer in Koji Uehara all season long to propel them from their poor start to the season to having the best record in the American League this year. On the other hand, the Cardinals exhibited great grit and mental toughness to battle to reach that number one spot in a very competitive NL Central. It is all going to come down to pitching in this game. Both teams are very skilled in both offense and defense, which puts a large amount of the onus on the pitching staff to not give up any big runs.
Eric Russo: Red Sox in 6 — The Red Sox have won eight straight World Series games dating back to 2004. They swept the Cardinals that year and dismissed the Rockies in four in 2007. Don’t expect another sweep this year. The rematch of 2004 won’t be easy for the Sox. St. Louis, like Detroit, has tremendous starting pitching, and unlike the Tigers, a great bullpen. Stalwart Adam Wainwright and rookie sensation Michael Wacha will be tough to break. But the Red Sox managed to beat the Tigers in all three games that Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer and former Cy Young/MVP Justin Verlander pitched in the ALCS. St. Louis – a team full of players not many people have heard of – may be deeper and more balanced than the Tigers, but the Red Sox have the better top-end talent. Boston, who is seeminlgy never out of a game, has also shown an uncanny ability to come up with clutch, timely hits. And that’s why, for the third time in 10 seasons, the Duck Boats will be rolling through Boston in a couple weeks.
Cheyenne Baker: Red Sox in 6 — There is no way to put it other than I believe the beloved Boston Red Sox are going to win it all this year. Over any other team, they have the most heart and desire to be champions. They have had the most come from behind and walk off wins this season, proving they are never done until the game is over. With that being said, by no means will this series be an easy one. The St. Louis pitching staff is stronger than ever right now, with Wainwright who is always tough and the rookie, Wacha, who is very hot in this postseason. However, the Red Sox faced an extremely tough starting rotation in the ALCS and got out of that series successfully. One must not forget about the passion that this Boston team has had all season long and the love they have for their city. I am keeping the faith and believing that the beards are ready to be crowned the 2013 World Series Champions.
Katie Martineau: Red Sox in 7 — The Cardinals have been successful in 2013 largely due to their starting pitching. They have one of the best staffs in Major League Baseball, ranking second in starter ERA and fifth overall with an ERA of 3.42. In the post-season, the Cardinals staff has been even more impressive, posting a 2.34 ERA. Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha have been crucial to the staff, while closer Trevor Rosenthal has also been impressive, recording three saves and allowing zero runs in seven innings during the playoffs.
While the Cardinals pitching staff has been impressive, many of their pitchers are still young, so whether or not the Red Sox lineup will be able to shake up the starters, remains to be seen.
The Red Sox continue to win in dramatic fashion, which was evident once again when Shane Victorino’s grand slam in Game six of the ALCS put the Red Sox on top of the Tigers, 5-2, and ultimately punched their ticket to the World Series.
The Sox starting pitching has been impressive this post-season, and fans should feel pretty confident that the trio of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey will continue to have strong performances when they take the mound going forward. The bullpen has also been a huge factor in the Sox advancing this far in the playoffs. Brandon Workman, Craig Breslow, and Junichi Tazawa have played important roles in crucial situations for John Farrell, and have also helped set up the ninth inning for Koji Uehara.
For both teams the question is whether or not their offenses will come alive. The Sox and Cardinals have struggled to hit in the post-season thus far. Whichever team has the superior pitching and can break out offensively will win the series. Since the Red Sox had one of the best offenses in the American League all season long, I figure they have to break out soon.
DJ Rallo: Cardinals in 7 — In what is the most evenly matched World Series in years, the Boston Red Sox will seek their third championship in nine years against the the team they defeated in 2004 to end their 86-year championship drought, the St. Louis Cardinals. It has been 14 years since the two teams with the best record in their league will face off in the Fall Classic. To advance, the Cardinals overcame the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games, while Boston overcame the Detroit Tigers in dramatic fashion through six games.
With one of the deepest organizations in baseball, the Cardinals have a stacked pitching rotation, led by Adam Wainwright and rookie, Michael Wacha. Unlike the Tigers, the Cardinals possess a consistent bullpen with several pitchers who can throw 95-100MPH in the late innings. This goes without mentioning MVP candidate, Yadier Molina sitting behind the plate, who will definitely present a challenge to any Boston baserunners. Carlos Beltran, David Freese, and Allen Craig also will round out the lineup, all being known for their clutch and/or postseason heroics in the past. To emphasize, Carlos Beltran possesses more postseason home runs (16) than Babe Ruth. Yeah.
When it comes to Boston, the Local 9 are riding a wave of momentum. Despite hitting poorly in the ALCS, the Red Sox have been clutch when push comes to shove. David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Napoli had imperative appearances at the plate, but the remainder of the team struggled. Where Boston’s strength lies has been the starting rotation, as Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, and John Lackey produced strong outings against the aces in Detroit. The bullpen has also highly exceeded expectations, with Craig Breslow and Brandon Workman rising to the occasion by getting the ball to the ever-dominate, Koji Uehara in the ninth.
With all that being said, my pick to win is the St. Louis Cardinals in a tight series. Every time I seem to bet against Boston, they win (see what I’m doing?). Yadier Molina will stop the Boston baserunners and the Cardinal bullpen is a well-oiled machine. Unless the Boston bats step up against the deep starting rotation, the Cardinals will run away with the series. I expect the Sox to fight to seven games, but they have finally met their match. With no true weakness, the Cardinals are not going to allow Boston to run them over, circa 2004. This series is up for grabs, and it can truly go either way.
Mike McMahon: Red Sox in 6 — All beards on deck. I picked against the Bruins in every round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and that didn’t work, so I have given myself the go ahead to pick the Sox in this series. Home field advantage could be huge for the Sox but it also might go against them. The Cardinals are batting just .190 on the road this postseason. To the contrary, St. Louis is 5-1 when playing on home turf. The Sox need to capitalize and bury the Cardinals quickly. Another concern is that the Cardinals have a DH friendly lineup with Allen Craig back in the lineup along with Matt Adams. On the other side, the Sox will lose a key piece when they head to St. Louis, Mike Napoli. It is imperative that the Sox leave Boston with the upper hand in the series, or else the depth of the Cardinals pitching staff might get the best of them. That all said, this Sox squad might not have played the best ball in the ALCS, but they were a lot more effective than the stat line shows. Defensively, they were solid, and despite a lot of strikeouts, they had a lot of good at-bats and wore starters down. Things to watch are: How effective the Sox can be on the bases with Molina behind the plate and which bullpen will break down first?