St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright celebrates after striking out Pittsburgh Pirates' Pedro Alvarez for the final out of Game 5 of a National League baseball division series, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, in St. Louis. The Cardinals won 6-1, and advanced to the NL championship series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
On Deck will be here all throughout the World Series to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox.
The Teams: It was clear in the League Championship Series that these were the two most well-rounded teams from lineup to starting pitching to bullpen. Now, two of the most legendary franchises in baseball get to square off for the world championship.
Pitching Matchups: (Pitching stats are from ALCS and NLCS) Game 1, Wednesday — Jon Lester (1-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (0-1, 2.57); Game 2, Thursday — John Lackey (1-0, 0.00) vs. Michael Wacha (2-0, 0.00).
What's Hot: For the Red Sox, no one has been hotter than Jacoby Ellsbury and rookie Xander Bogaerts, who have hit .400 and .500, respectively this postseason. The Red Sox are getting some punch from Mike Napoli (two home runs) and David Ortiz (three home runs), even though Ortiz is hitting just .200 in the postseason. Koji Uehara is coming off an MVP honor in the NLCS after talllying three saves. He has five saves in the entire postseason and has given up just one run and five hits in nine innings of work with 13 strikeouts and no walks.
The Cardinals don't have a single regular hitting better tan .268, but don't let that fool you. Carlos Beltran has an unreal 12 RBIs this postseason as Matt Holliday is second on the team in postseason RBIs with just five. Each of them have two home runs this October. Make no mistake, the Cardinals are winning games in October with their pitching, led by Wainwright and the unbelievable rookie Wacha, who has been near untouchable.
What's Not: Both Jake Peavy and Clay Buchholz have struggled in the rotation and there is some question as to whether Buchholz will get the start in Game 3 in St. Louis. Stephen Drew is hitting just .086 this postseason, but he was brought on board for his glove, not his bat, and he's made some big plays at shortstop.
Shelby Miller went from being one of the bright, young pitchers in baseball to the Cardinals' long man with a 9.00 ERA. Starter Lance Lynn has a 5.40 ERA this postseason.