Which team has the advantage?
I have watched both teams throughout this postseason and they match up well. So instead of going stat crazy, below are my cut and dry observations on the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers bullpen is one of the best in baseball, thanks to the mid-season upgrades of Mike Adams, Koji Uehara and Mike Gonzalez to complement Scott Feldman, Darren Oliver, Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz. Also, moving Ogando out of a starting roll gives the Rangers depth as he can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen if needed. The Rangers have the type of bullpen that turns games into a six-inning affair, which makes an opponent’s job all that much harder.
Just like the Cardinals, the Rangers starters have to be better, specifically the three lefties CJ Wilson, Derek Holland, and Matt Harrison. Wilson and Harrison gave up just 16 and 13 homers respectively and can shutdown the homer-happy St. Louis bats if they can get back on track. Wilson is supposed to be the ace, so his 0-2 record and 8.04 ERA this post season is unacceptable. Wilson will face Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter in Busch Stadium in Game 1 and the Rangers need a big performance from him. The Cardinals righty dominate line-up is a .500 team against lefty arms, so it could be a big advantage if they can step up and thus far that has not been the case.
The Rangers skipper Ron Washington made some questionable calls in the 2010 World Series. In Game 1 it was playing Vladimir Guerrero in right field; in Game 2 allowing CJ Wilson to act like Randy Johnson by having his personal catcher Matt Treanor start over the experienced and ex-Giant Bengie Molina; and also in Game 2 leaving Derek Holland on the mound after he threw eight straight balls against an offensively anemic offense. Even minor managing mistakes in comparison could cost the Rangers dearly because St. Louis is a better all-around team than the Giants. It will be interesting how Washington deals with no DH in St. Louis, as his overall plan in the NL parks might be that vital one.
- New York Yankees Hot Stove: Rangers Rumored To Want CC Drop CJ (ladylovespinstripes.com)
- Hey, stranger! Rangers, Cards meet in World Series (ajc.com)
- Hello, stranger! Texas, Cards meet in World Series (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- The Rangers are Headed to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals in the World Series (babeslovebaseball.com)
- Rangers’ Wilson starts Game 1; Cruz hits 7th (espn.go.com)
- MLB World Series 2011 Schedule: Rangers Need C.J. Wilson To Validate Ace Label (bleacherreport.com)
- 2011 World Series: Texas Rangers Vs St Louis Cardinals For Baseball’s Championship – Report (annem040359.wordpress.com)