2011 World Series Odds: Texas Rangers vs. St. Louis Cardinals Prediction
Batter Up! Baseball bettors get the inside scoop for the 2011 World Series matchup between the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals. Get your winning betting predictions and odds below.
MLB fans and baseball betting enthusiasts everywhere that just love either wagering on or watching, America’s ‘favorite pastime’ will enjoy this informative betting breakdown on this year’s upcoming version of the annual Fall Classic.
Whether you’re an ‘old school’ baseball purist or a new-age diamond junkie, you’ll be well-armed with information on the 2011 MLB World Series when the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals take to the field at Busch Stadium in Game 1 on Wednesday night.
With that said, let me get started with my in-depth look at all of the particulars surrounding this year’s championship showdown.
2011 World Series Odds – Rangers -160, Cardinals +140
The Texas Rangers (103-69 SU, 91-72-9 O/U, 98-74 RL) used their prolific offense to bash their way into the World Series by beating the Detroit Tigers 4-2 in the ALCS to advance to its second straight fall classic.
The red-hot St. Louis Cardinals (97-76 SU, 93-74-6 O/U, 83-90 RL) barely reached the postseason as the Wild Card team in the National League this season, getting its ticket punched on the final day of the regular season, but they’ve vanquished two of the game’s most potent offensive ballclubs en route to their 18th World Series appearance.
In spite of each team’s postseason successes so far, both ballclubs had to rely mostly on offense to get the job in their respective LCS matchups, with their respective starting pitching faltering early and often
The Rangers prevailed over Detroit despite not getting a single victory from a starter in the American League championship series while the Cardinals made some MLB history of their own by becoming the first team to win a best-of-seven postseason series without a starting pitcher going beyond five innings.
Both teams however, have been absolutely incendiary for quite some time coming into this World Series battle with Texas going a blistering 40-18 in its last 58 games and St. Louis riding the crest of a 23-9 wave over its L/32 games.
Now, let’s take a look at each team in all facets of the game.
Both teams have recorded identical 3.79 ERA’s coming into the World Series. Texas has a whopping five starting pitchers that all won double-digit games this season, led by left-hander C.J. Wilson’s 16-7 mark with a 2.94 ERA and Derek Holland’s 16-5 record with a 4.40 ERA. Matt Harrison and Colby Lewis each added 14 wins with Alexi Ogando adding 13 victories. The Rangers also finished fourth in team quality starts this season and fifth in WHIP (1.24) while the bullpen has compiled an impressive 4-0 in the postseason with a stellar 2.34 ERA and .193 opposing batting average.
The Cardinals’ didn’t get the quality starting pitching that Texas did throughout the season with the team finishing 16th in quality starts (86) and 21st in strikeout (1098). St. Louis had four double-digit game winners in its starting rotation, led by Kyle Lohse 14-8 mark and 3.39 ERA while Chris Carpenter went 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA following a rough start to the regular season. Left-hander Jamie Garcia went 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA with Jake Westbrook going 12-9 with a 4.66 ERA. Nevertheless, St. Louis got some spotty performances from all of their starters outside of Chris Carpenter with Jaime Garcia, Kyle Lohse and Edwin Jackson combining to go 1-4 with a collective 6.21 ERA in their eight postseason outings so far. St. Louis’ bullpen has also been a revelation for them as well with St. Louis’ relievers going 4-0 with a 2.55 ERA and .177 opposing batting average since the start of the postseason. Over their L/10 games,
Texas has gone 7-3 with a 4.11 ERA while St. Louis has also gone 7-3 over the same span with a 3.54 team ERA. Believe it or not baseball bettors and fans, once you get past perennial Cy Young contender Chris Carpenter, it looks like Texas has the edge in pitching, if ever so slight.
There aren’t many team that can keep up with Texas’ prolific offense, but at least the Cardinals will hit the postseason on fire offensively.
Texas is ranked in the top five in every major offensive category, including runs per game (5.28, third), team batting average (.283, first) OPS (second) and home runs (210, 2nd) while also finishing fifth in stolen bases (143). The Rangers had five players bash at least 25 home runs this season, including team leaders Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler (32), Mike Napoli (30), ALCS MVP Nelson Cruz (29) and arguably their best hitter, Josh Hamilton (25). Second baseman Michael Young batted .338 to lead the Rangers with Napoli hitting .320 and Hamilton .298.
Despite those impressive statistics, St. Louis enters the World Series having scored more runs than every playoff team (62) while batting a blistering .288 as a team. The Cards get most of their power from team leader Albert Pujols (.299, 37 HRs), Lance Berkman (.301, 31 HRs) and Matt Holliday (.296, 22 HRs), but they’ve also got plenty of quality hitters like NLCS MVP David Freese. Since the postseason started, Freese has been St. Louis’ best hitter, batting a scorching .425 with 4 HRs and 14 RBI in the NLCS alone.
Texas will counter Freese’s heroics with the red-hot Nelson Cruz. The Ranger’s outfielder went absolutely nuts against Detroit in the ALCS, smacking a whopping six homer runs and driving in 13 runs. However, Napoli, Hamilton and Kinsler have combined for just two postseason home runs so far after blasting a whopping 87 combined during the regular season. Still, the edge in hitting goes to Texas – though it may not be as wide a gap as it previously was with St. Louis now hitting the cover off the ball like they’re an AL ballclub.
I really like Texas’ Ron Washington and the job he’s done in getting the Rangers to two consecutive World Series, but I’ve got to give the edge to St. Louis in the managerial department. Tony La Russa (1,408-1,182) will make his sixth World Series appearance while trying to win his third after leading Oakland to the 1989 title and the Cardinals to the title in 2006. La Russa has won 12 division titles and six pennants (1988, 1989, 1990, 2004, 2006, 2011) while leading three different clubs to the League Championship Series (Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals). Ron Washington (427-383) is the first Texas manager to win a postseason series and first to get the Rangers to make a World Series appearance, but the fact of the matter is that he’s going up against arguably the greatest manager in MLB history.
Edge: St. Louis
You know what intangibles are baseball bettors! They’re those game-deciding aspects that you just can’t grasp but are always there just waiting to make an appearance. In the case of the Rangers, they’ve got the recent experience of reaching the World Series – and losing it – firmly in their minds and will almost certainly leave nothing on the field this time around. For St. Louis, they’ve got arguably the best hitter in the game today in first baseman Albert Pujols and the knowledge that they’ve won it all before (2006), though some of the faces from that team are no longer with the team. The Cards also have what I like to call an ‘overachiever’s mentality’ that has been instilled by La Russa. The intangible department is really close, but I’m giving the edge to St. Louis very slightly because of Tony La Russa.