Re: Bring on the Cardinals! Predictions?
posted at 10/20/2013 10:26 AM EDT
In response to maxbialystock's comment:
Should be a boring thread, but a lot of good comments and insights. For my credentials, please look back to one of the ALDS prediction threads in which I said the Rays would sweep the Sox. I then thought the Tigers rotation would kill us--and in my defense they darn near did. Thank goodness for their bullpen, our bullpen, two good starts by Lester, one amazing start by Lackey, and two completely unexpected grand slam dingers. Ortiz's dinger wasn't completely unexpected, but getting the bases loaded in the 8th inning was--Scherzer had dominated our lineup, but didn't come out for the 8th. Last night Victorino couldn't even bunt, let alone get a hit, before the 7th.
The Cards are a lot like us. Both teams had 97 wins and home field advantage. Cardinals had very good hitting and scoring during the regular season, and the Sox were the best. Cardinals have a good rotation and bullpen, ditto Sox. Cardinals have a sneaky lineup without a lot of big bats, ditto Sox. Sox and Cardinals scored the most runs in the playoffs of all 8 MLB teams, yet neither had a high team OPS--.690 for the Sox, .610 for the Cardinals.
One difference is experience. Cardinals are back again and again and again. Sox are in a miraculous turnaround from 2012 and no playoffs since 2009. But at this point experience is a nonissue. Even Bogaerts is a vet (or a semi-vet).
Cardinals have two consistently good starters who both averaged 7 innings per start in 3 playoff games each with low ERA's. Sox do not. But I think the Sox have better 3 and 4 starters. Cardinals bullpen is good, ours is better.
Series starts in Boston, just like it did in 2004. Could be important.
Cardinals will sweep just like the Rays did.
Great prediction Max :) . And yeah, weird, Bogaerts is like a vet out there . . .