The title of World Champion is now within the reach of two teams that will be playing for it all starting this Wednesday. All it takes to accomplish that goal is to win four of the potentially remaining seven games in the 2011 Major League Baseball season, an easy feat when you say it but one that will test the heart of a true champion.
This is what Baseball fans wait for all season long, the final series of the season, the 2011 World Series. Who will be crowned Champion when it’s all said and done? Will it be the American League Champion Texas Rangers or the National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals?
Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
[adinserter block=”2″]The 2011 World Series will be a tale of two team’s incredible paths to reach this very point. On one side you have the Texas Rangers, the American League Champions who for a second year are back in the Fall Classic. They are team who was favored by many to get back into the World Series once again and make a run at the World Championship they missed out on last season. Their offense is a spectacle to watch and may have one of the most dangerous lineups in postseason history.
You then have the St. Louis Cardinals who on August 26th, 2011 were 10 1/2 games out of the National League Wild Card. By all accounts there season was done & the discussions of whether or not Albert Pujols would re-sign in the off-season had began. There run to the World Series has been nothing but historical thus far as they cut the Atlanta Braves lead and won the National League Wild Card on the final day of the season. They enter the World Series defeating the two best teams in the National League as they knocked off both the Philadelphia Phillies & Milwaukee Brewers to get to this point.
This is what October Baseball is all about. The paths in which teams take to reach the Fall Classic is what makes us want to tune in and watch the World Series. The paths these two teams have taken up to this point has made them Champions at heart, but the title of Champion is one they must earn in the next week and a half.
These two teams match-up better then you may think. Sure the Texas Rangers have a lineup that has carried them to back-to-back World Series trips but what about the St. Louis Cardinals. The veteran leadership of Pujols, Berkman and Holliday is one that shouldn’t be forgotten about. At one time you could have made a National League version of Mount Rushmore with the best players in the league and these three would be on that very monument.
But they have become older and have slowed down from the years they were in their primes. This is a 2nd World Series trip for the three of them each as Berkman was with Houston in 2005, Pujols won it in 2006 and Holliday was with Colorado in 2007. The experience of playing in the Fall Classic is definitely in that St. Louis clubhouse despite not winning it all. You also can’t forget they are being managed by a World Series Champion manager in Tony LaRussa.
The Texas Rangers are by far the favorite in the 2011 World Series and by all accounts, were the favorite to win the World Championship against San Francisco as well. They are back in the Fall Classic in back-to-back years and are hoping of achieving the goal they were set out for last season. This is there chance to get revenge on what they failed to do last season.
I really don’t think I need to break down the Texas Rangers batting order. It is the best in Baseball and historical up to this point. To reach the categories of fellow “murder’s row” like lineups they need to capture a World Championship. They have given their opponents some distinct trouble and more importantly given their pitchers some much needed run support along the process.
The Texas Rangers pitchers have an ERA over six so far in the postseason, in most cases that would lead to immediate elimination from the postseason but when you have a lineup like that you can give up six runs a game. The pitching for Texas is definitely a weakness but one that hasn’t been taken advantage of this October, for St. Louis to do some damage they need to do what the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers couldn’t do & that’s expose this weakness.
I tend to do a lot of Ron Washington bashing in these blogs and have done so the past two years because I truly don’t believe he is a World Series Champion caliber manager. Some of the decision he makes aren’t typically the best and he is a figurehead on a ballclub that is good because of the moves they have made and not the managing from the dugout. I believe that a 10 year old at times could coach the Rangers to victory the way they play but I miss give credit where credit is due and Ron Washington has taken the Rangers to their 2nd straight World Series which is very impressive.
[adinserter block=”1″]As for the World Series itself I am actually going to go out on a limb here and pick the St. Louis Cardinals to be crowned the 2011 World Champions. The reason I say this is because the Cardinals have had nothing but adversity since August 26th, defeated two better Baseball teams then any of the teams the Rangers beat to get to the World Series and have a ton of momentum doing such. They have fought this long and have the confidence to complete the ultimate goal, so why not win the next four & become World Champions?
Texas is good and confident, but may be too confident in their path to the World Series. They really didn’t have that much competition in the AL West all season long and never really fought to get where they are right now. The Cardinals did and they can carry on until the final pitch of the season. I surprisingly like St. Louis in this one to become the 2011 World Champions.
Prediction: Cardinals win series 4-2
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Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday at www.wheelhouseradio.com.
Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site.
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