Who: St. Louis Cardinals at Boston Red Sox
Where: Fenway Park, Boston
When: 8:07 PM, ET – FOX
Series record: 0-0
For the first time in years, the two best regular season teams (at least according to the standings) will face off in a World Series as the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox will represent their respective leagues in the 2013 Fall Classic.
The series will begin in Boston, where the Red Sox will host their first World Series game since 2007, a series in which they swept the Colorado Rockies for their sixth World Championship.
Looking for their twelfth World Championship will be the St. Louis Cardinals who most recently won the World Series in 2011 after an epic seven game series against the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals were a lone victory away from making the World Series in 2012 again, though a 3-1 series advantage against San Francisco was not enough as they couldn’t hold the series lead and eventually succumb to the red-hot Giants.
Opening Game 1 for St. Louis will be 19-game winner Adam Wainwright, who has been absolutely dominant, mowing down hitters at nearly a strikeout per inning during his postseason run where he’s only given up four earned runs in 23 innings of action.
Opposing Wainwright will be Boston Red Sox ace Jon Lester, who hopes he’ll be able to tame the talented Cardinal offense which has struggled against left handed pitching all season. Lester has been nearly as impressive as Wainwright during the 2013 postseason, giving up five earned in 19.1 innings of work.
St. Louis will be getting a bit of help offensively as well as Allen Craig, who has missed over a month of action with a foot injury will act as the Cardinals’ designated hitter for the series’ first two games in Boston. He’ll likely be regulated back to a bench role for any games in St. Louis as he’s not completely healed, but his solid bat will be a welcome addition for an already thunder-filled Cardinals lineup.
Meanwhile, Boston will likely continue to roll with the powerful Jonny Gomes in the outfield over Daniel Nava as Red Sox skipper John Farrell indicated Gomes’ solid play combined with his defensive instincts give Boston the best chance to win, though indicated Nava would get his chances in the series.
In a battle of two elite aces anchoring two great teams, Game 1 is shaping up to be quite a contest.