Cardinals in 7
The Red Sox and Cardinals were the MLB’s top two teams this past season despite the fact that much of the fanfare throughout the 162-game grind was devoted to more star studded teams, such as the two squads that lost in the Championship Series. St. Louis enters the series with the ability to trot out their dynamic duo of Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha in Games 1, 2, 5, and 6—a frightening proposition for a Boston lineup that could only muster 3.17 runs per game against the Tigers. Against quality relief pitchers, the Red Sox will not be able to take advantage in late game situations like they did against the Tigers. Also, the Red Sox will face an interesting predicament when deciding where to play slugger David Ortiz without the option of a DH slot during the middle three games in St. Louis. Ortiz is as notorious for his awful defensive abilities as he is for his game-changing power. The combination of the above will make the series an interesting curtain call on an already dramatic post-season, but the Cardinals will ultimately come out on top.
— Mayaz Alam
Cardinals in 6
As a proud resident of New York State, making the Boston Red Sox wait 86 years between World Series victories seems status quo. Although it has only been five years since the Sox last won baseball’s ultimate prize, it doesn’t appear that the St. Louis Cardinals will need the Curse of the Bambino to help them achieve victory. The reason: Michael Wacha, the Cardinals’ dynamic second starter who has not only pitched like an ace down the stretch but also earned the nickname “Wacha Flocka.” If Wacha can even partially replicate his video-game-level post-season stat line of 3-0, 21 innings pitched, 0.43 ERA, and 22 strikeouts, this series could be over quickly. The combination of Wacha and Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright (St. Louis’s Game 1 and 2 starters) have been unhittable all post-season. Finally, and most importantly, Boston’s current offensive model is not sustainable. Boston cannot count on hitting two late game, series-changing grand slams for the second time in as many weeks. St. Louis’ combination of superior pitching and sustainable offensive efforts led by Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig will prevail.
— Joshua Schulman
Cardinals in 5
It is interesting to consider who has the edge in this year’s Series, as the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox prepare for a rematch of the 2004 World Series. The Cardinals have surged through the post-season so far thanks to outstanding performances from ace Adam Wainwright and rookie sensation Michael Wacha. Wacha, who pitched within an out of a no-hitter in his final regular season start, proved that it was no fluke by shutting down the Dodgers’ offense in the NLCS and taking home MVP honours for the series. Supported by arguably the greatest active playoff hitter in Carlos Beltran and a solid, home-grown roster, the Cardinals have a very competitive team. On the other hand, the Red Sox sport a fearsome offence, boasting post-season legend David Ortiz, whose grand slam in Game 2 of the ALCS sparked Boston’s offence for the rest of the series. The Red Sox do have a couple of question marks, including one at third base, where Will Middlebrooks may be supplanted by top prospect Xander Bogaerts, whose one-out walk was key in Game 2. However, Former MVP Dustin Pedoroia and a solid bullpen will make the Red Sox a tough opponent. All things considered, the Cardinals have an advantage thanks to their strong starting pitching and balanced, consistent lineup.
— Natan Weinberger
Cardinals in 7
It’s going to be close, but there’s just no beating the Cardinals’ voodoo witch magic in the playoffs. This is a team who procures elite rookie arms like Shelby Miller (15-9, 3.06 ERA) out of thin air, and then has the depth to leave Miller out of their post-season roster and still feature a dominant rotation. Boston has the edge on offence, with a deadly combination of power, speed, and on-base skills from top to bottom, but we saw in the ALCS that lights-out pitching can tame the Sox’ potent bats. Carlos Beltran—arguably the most clutch post-season hitter of our generation—could soon be hitting in front of a healthy Allen Craig, who hit .454 with runners in scoring position this season—a proposition that should frighten the Boston faithful. The Cards are just too dangerous in a best-of-seven format.
— Elie Waitzer
Red Sox in 7
The Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals are ready to rekindle old sparks from their World Series matchup in 2004. Both teams
have been excellent, but this series will go down to the wire. Each ballclub has multiple reasons to believe that they can win it all, but the Red Sox are stronger across the board than their opponents. The Cardinals’ pitching should keep them in the series as starters Adam Wainwright, Joe Kelly, and Michael Wacha have been stellar this post-season. Carlos Beltran has been on a tear for the Cardinals and should provide enough from the plate to ensure that St. Louis doesn’t go down without a fight. Boston, however, has a deeper rotation, lineup, bullpen, and are healthier. The Red Sox are once again destined for success, and David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia will be sealing the deal in Game 7 by bringing the trophy back to Beantown.
— Osama Haque
Cardinals in 6
The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox are two teams with great pitching, great hitting, and great defense. More importantly, the World Series has two teams with a flair for the dramatic —see David Ortiz, Game 2 of the ALCS, or David Freese in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. This late in the post-season, however, pitching has been, and always will be, the key factor in any World Series matchup, and the Cardinals have the arms to win it all. While Adam Wainright and Michael Wacha might not be as big of names as Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, St. Louis has arguably the best one-two punch in baseball right now at the top of their rotation. Also, the Cardinals bullpen has been solid throughout the playoffs, which will make it difficult for Boston to string together late-inning comebacks like they were able to do against Detroit. In the end, the Cardinals will be able to shut down the Red Sox’ big sluggers, and take home their second championship in three years.
— Drew Allen