It may have taken some time but the World Series is finally here. While the road to get to the World Series was different for the both teams, no one can deny they earned the right to be here. Honestly, that’s the great thing about playoff baseball, it’s not always as predictable as some may think. Nonetheless, this year we have the St. Louis Cardinals vs the Boston Red Sox and let’s not forget that both teams have been here before and succeeded.
Now seeing that both teams have been here before in the past decade and have plenty of talent and skill, this should definitely be a good series to watch. Both the Cardinals and Red Sox have what it takes to win another World Series Title, if they follow certain steps.
Red Sox Steps to Victory
First step to victory for the Red Sox is to get the bats going again. Red Sox had way to many strikeouts against the Tigers which they can’t do against the Cardinals. Red Sox were arguably considered the best offense in baseball this year, yet against the Detroit Tigers, they didn’t play that way. Now of course some of that credit goes to the pitching of the Detroit Tigers but if Red Sox want another World Series Title, they’re hitting must improve. If you’re the Red Sox go with what works, which is out hitting your opponent. Not only do they need to hit the ball better, they also need to do it when they have players in scoring position on the bases. That’s was one of the main reasons they struggled to beat the Tigers as well, there were multiple times in that series where Red Sox players were in scoring position but they couldn’t hit the ball and score. That must change.
Next step is the Red Sox pitching, now against the Tigers they did a solid job but not a great job. Going into this game, they must challenge the Cardinals hitters. Mainly because unlike the Tigers, the Cardinals don’t typically strike out, well at least not at a high rate. So Red Sox pitching better be ready, and Red Sox should be prepared to offer run support.
As always, I believe in baseball you always have to have those unsung heroes that step up and help out the team, because it’s those type of contributions that can determine your team winning the World Series Title or losing it. There are a few unsung heroes, I will be looking to step up, the first one being Shane Victorino. Now in this playoffs, Victorino has come up with some nice plays in the postseason and while the Red Sox don’t need him to dominate, they do need him to play well. Dustin Pedroia is another Red Sox I look to step up as an unsung hero, mainly because he is another key to the Red Sox offense. Lastly, I can’t forget Jake Peavy, he hasn’t been the most consistent when it comes to pitching especially in Game 4 of the ALCS, so coming in this game, I hope his tune has changed. Now obviously there are plenty more I could mention like Xander Bogarts and Jhonny Gomes but the players I mention above are the main players I think have the potential to be unsung heroes in this series and help to their team win another title.
Cardinals Steps to Victory
When it comes to the Cardinals and what they need to do to win another World Series Title, it all starts with the pitching. Michael Wacha and Adam Wainright have played at high level this post-season and they will need to continue playing at high level going up against the Red Sox because they will need them. I expect the Cardinals to do well in pitching but to do great in pitching, they must be able to count on their bullpen. They have some nice young pitchers in Seth Maness, Carlos Martínez and of course Trevor Rosenthal, all three have played their part in the post-season and they will need them to do so again in the World Series, if they have any chance of winning.
Which leads me to my next key which is the Cardinals unsung heroes. Now in NLCS and so far in the post season, they have had some good moments at bat, but they have unfortunately been stalled out a couple of times. Mainly because they need better production from a few players, in particular Jon Jay and Matt Holiday. When it come to Jay, I feel like he had some key moments in the NLCS but they could have use more production from him at bat. The same with Holiday, Cardinals should be able to count on him more at the bat as well, especially if you want to succeed against the Red Sox pitching. Shelby Miller is another one to watch, now the Cardinals say he is not injured, so if he does play, I look forward to seeing how he will perform. Depending on how he performs, he can either help or hurt the Cardinals.
Finally let’s talk about the Cardinals at bat. Now I know your probably wondering why I didn’t start off with that. Honestly because the Cardinals have had some nice clutch moments at bat this post season and I think it will continue. As I said earlier, I know the Cardinals offense has had some stall out moments but if those unsung heroes step up they should be fine. I have no doubt that Carlos Beltrán will have some big heroic moments but lookout for Allen Craig who could be a possible unsung hero as well in this series. Obviously he has been out a while but if he can get back into the swing of things, he can be nice difference maker at the bats for the Cardinals.
As for my prediction for this series, I am going with the Boston Red Sox in this one. I have no doubt this will be a competitive series, which is why I have Boston winning in six games but at this point I think Red Sox are playing good baseball and I think this is the series where that offense will come alive. Be sure to tune into Game 1 tonight on Fox at 8pm.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com