Wednesday, October 23, 2013

MLB Game Picks - Wednesday: October 23, 2013

A lot has happened since my last pick, a correct one of the Red Sox putting away the Tigers to reach the 2013 World Series. Jim Leyland has stepped down as Tigers' manager. Don Mattingly's bench coach, Trey Hillman, was fired and Mattingly himself considers his options on whether to return as manager. But none of that matters today because the World Series starts tonight at Fenway Park. And this series has it all.

Both of these teams have won World Series within the last ten years. Both teams have proud traditions and incredibly strong fans. Both feature great offenses and good pitching staffs. Both play sound baseball and have low key, but seemingly effective managers. Both teams hit well in tight situations and have scrappy players and iconic post season hitters. It is going to be fun except we have to watch it on Fox with Buck and McCarver.

There are several keys to the series as many have written about over the past several days. To me it is whether the strikeout prone bottom half of the Red Sox lineup can produce anything. One through four, the Red Sox are as tough as they come. With a three-outcome guy at the fifth spot in Mike Napoli and a whole lot of strikeouts the rest of the lineup, the Red Sox will need to have someone or a couple of those guys have a big series. If they don't, the Cardinals have a good chance to win.

But we need to get to today's pick. So here it is:

  • The Cardinals over the Red Sox: Adam Wainwright will be the difference in this game. His big curve should be tough on the no-longer switch hitting Shane Victorino and Napoli in particular. If Wainwright can keep Jacoby Ellsbury off the bases and David Ortiz somewhat neutralized, he will have a great game. Jon Lester is a lefty and the Cardinals had a tough time off lefties during the season. But they beat Clayton Kershaw twice and have seemingly defeated that meme. They might get a big boost being able to use Allen Craig as the DH. If Craig can bring anything offensively, it is a DH weapon that no other NL team could have brought to the table. I think the Cardinals will score against Lester. I am pretty sure about that. The odds are with this pick as those sit at 51/49 in favor of the Cardinals.

Last Game Pick Post: 1-0
Post season: 19-14
Season: 1393-1081

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