2013 World Series: Too close for ESPN analysts to call

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The 2013 World Series is just one day away from starting, and the hype and commentary about the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox is peaking. ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ analysts Curt Schilling and John Kruk are two of what appears to be many that feel this year’s Fall Classic will be a nail-biter.

“I don’t think there’s a clear cut favorite,” Schilling said.

“As good as Boston’s offense is, the Cardinals are putting out a power pitching rotation as good as I’ve seen in my lifetime.”

Schilling and Kruk continued by saying that both teams have what it takes to cancel out each team’s positives.One reporter asked Schilling about his bloody sock today on the conference call, but Curt refused to talk about it. The reporter brought it up again, but Schilling passed on discussing it.

Something Schilling did speak of was the Cardinals power pitching which will play a major role in the strategy implemented by managers for both teams in the 2013 World Series. John Farrell and Mike Matheny may be newer to managing, but each has offered the right mix to keep their squads playing at a high level.

“The Cardinals will be able to run out three or four 95+ guys, and I think that’s the only way you beat a sabermetrics built team,” he said.

“This a series built on your 11 to 12 best players, and your 7 best pitchers. Generally, you don’t use all 25 guys. You’ve got the guys you’re going to go an the guys who might play, and in that way the Cardinals stack up incredibly well.”

Jaime Garcia

Photo courtesy of Neil Alan Ralston

John Kruk answered a question about what is the rooting interest for those who don’t like either of those teams.

“I think it goes to watching the chess match between managers. When do they bring in relievers, who do they bring in. You have two starting staffs with really good power arms,” Kruk said.

A mix of youth and experience has been key for St. Louis and Boston up to this point. The Cardinals have relied on young power arms and batters to make the 2013 World Series. Michael Wacha, the 2013 NLCS MVP, along with a bullpen of power pitching prospects have silenced bats with great success. Matt Adams and NL hits leader Matt Carpenter keyed wins late in the series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cardinals

Boston used grand slams from Shane Victorino and David Ortiz as turning points in tight games against Detroit Tigers pitching that had been stymieing a potent Boston lineup. Add in the health of veteran pitchers John Lackey, John Lester, and Clay Buchholz, and it is easy to see how the Red Sox went from worst to first in the AL East. Should make the 2013 World Series one to remember.

Some final insights and opinions from Kruk and Schilling on the 2013 World Series.

Schilling:  “It’s always funny how this game goes in cycles and trends.  Everybody seems to mimic and copy the teams getting to the World Series. 

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 Neither one of these teams are using secret formulas.  The Cardinals build their team this way every year.  Since Theo [Epstein] came on and Ben [Cherington], the aberration that was last year is something that won’t happen again with the Red Sox.”

Kruk: “The only big difference in the World Series and regular season is the amount of media that’s there, your obligations to the media when they’re there.  You can be taken out of your routine. 

 “When I talk to players going into their first postseason, I talked to Marlon Byrd about it, I said every once in a while you’re going to have to step back, take a deep breath, relax, because the game is moving too fast.”

Pecota ran the numbers for this Fall Classic, and they found that the St. Louis Cardinals to be the favorites.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeffrotull44 for more sports and entertainment ramblings. If you play fantasy sports, check out The Fantasy Fix, where Jeff covers your add/drop/watch needs during baseball and hockey season, and does weekly podcasts, as well.

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