The venue for the World Series changes today as the series moves to Texas. The pitching match up seems to be as even as it gets. Kyle Lohse has had a very good season with a record of 14-8 with an ERA of 3.39. Matt Harrison has had a very good season with a record of 14-9 with an ERA of 3.39. How's that for symmetry? The Designated Hitter goes into effect in the home ballpark of the American League Team. Even that seems a wash. The Cardinals get Allen Craig into the line up in right field and allows Lance Berkman to DH. This adds a good bat for the Cardinals and tightens up their defense. The Rangers add a good bat in Mitch Moreland who tightens up the Rangers' defense playing first base (where Michael Young is not very good at all). So even that seems to even out. Mitch Moreland batted .469 in last year's World Series. We all know that Allen Craig is a perfect two for two in this World Series.
So what's the pick then? Oh, you impatient people! Okay, here it is:
- The Rangers over the Cardinals: The Texas Rangers have a home OPS of .860. Think about that for a second. That means that as an entire team, they are just below what Albert Pujols hit for the season when they play at home. With Mike Napoli catching, there are no holes in the line up. None. They averaged 6.1 runs per game playing at home this season. Meanwhile, their pitching at home (which also suffers some) has given up 3.9 runs per game. Although Kyle Lohse is induces more ground balls than fly balls, his career home run rate is 1.1 homers per nine innings. He's been significantly better at preventing them in the past two years, but he has a higher homer rate per nine innings than Matt Harrison. Add in Kyle Lohse lifetime post season record of 0-4 with a 5.09 ERA and you seem to have everything aligning for the Rangers. But again, that's why you play the game. Good luck to both teams and their fan bases.