Today: Apr 23, 2024

2011 World Series: SNews sports staff picks

Pete Paguaga—Sports Editor

With one month to play, any betting man would have picked the Atlanta Braves to win the National League Wild Card. The Braves were up 10 1/2 games and the St. Louis Cardinals were fading. And now with the World Series starting tonight, the Cardinals are representing the NL in the World Series and they will win the World Championship over the Texas Rangers.

The Cardinals’s pitching is by far better than the Rangers, and Chris Carpenter has been lights out since he outdueled Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the divisional series. Manger Tony LaRussa and his crazy bullpen decisions have paid off.

Going into the World Series, Albert Pujols is an extra base-hitting machine, and David Freese is hitting just as good if not better then Pujols.

The Cardinals’s pitching staff as a whole is so much better than the Rangers’s staff. C.J Wilson—their so-called ace—is pitching more like AJ Burnett when he gets his feelings hurt than an actual ace should be pitching.

With the momentum from the last month of the season into the playoffs, there is no reason that the Cardinals shouldn’t beat the Rangers in five games. And remember this is without Adam Wainwright, so they’re using a closer by committee.

Prediction: Cardnials in 6.

Pat Longobardi—Sports Writer

After losing to the San Francisco Giants last year on their home field, the Texas Rangers were surely determined to get back to this spot. They will make their second World Series appearance in consecutive years.

The Rangers won the American League West for the second straight season with a 96-66 record with the whole team basically intact from last year. Third baseman Adrian Beltre was a new addition and proved himself with three home runs in Game 4 of the divisional series to eliminate Tampa Bay.

Manager Ron Washington, in his fifth season, has his team playing small ball and moving runners up while getting production from their whole lineup. Right fielder Nelson Cruz had a monster ALCS, winning the MVP with six home runs and 13 RBIs. Center fielder Josh Hamilton (12 hits, 7 RBIs in the playoffs) has also quietly reached base to help a rally.

The main factor for the Rangers is their bullpen. The starters have given consistent innings each time, while the bullpen has gotten out of big spots on many occasions in the playoffs. However, they need to be ready to come in should a starter have a rough outing. Closer Neftali Feliz has seven appearances and four saves with a 1.17 ERA in the playoffs. He will also be important to shut the door at the end.

Prediction: Rangers in 7.

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