World Series Odds – Cardinals Face Challenge From a Lefty in Game 1 at Fenway


The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals each won 97 games in the regular season. So to many baseball bettors it somehow seems fitting that they would have made their way through the playoff process to a head-to-head confrontation in the World Series.

The Red Sox had to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays and Detroit Tigers to get here, while the cards took care of business against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Game 1 gets underway at 8:05 PM ET at Fenway Park, which can always be a very tricky location for the visitors. In the World Series odds that have been established at BetAnySports, the Red Sox, with their lefty, are the favorites:

World Series Game 1 – 8:05 PM ET

Boston Red Sox (Lester – L) -122
St. Louis Cardinals (Wainwright – R) +112

Over 7 Runs -115
Under 7 Runs -105

We mention “the Red Sox with their lefty” because of the fact that the Cardinals have shown a distinct difference between the way they’ve dealt with left-handers and the way they have dealt with right-handed pitchers. Against southpaw starters they have batted just .242, compared to .278 against right-handed starters, and overall they are at .238 against lefties, which is 42 points lower than their mark against righties.

More significantly, they are just 19-23 when opposing a left-handed starter, which is highly unusual for a team that led its league with 97 wins. That’s why it’s almost bizarre to World Series bettors that they would be able to take a guy like Clayton Kershaw, who is going to the National League’s Cy Young winner, and beat him twice during the NLCS. In the interest of accuracy, it should probably be pointed out that Kershaw did flummox them in Game 2 of the series, holding them to just two hits over six innings, then got blown up in Game 6, allowing seven runs and 12 Cardinals to reach base in four innings, as Michael Wacha beat the Dodgers for the second time in the NLCS.

One thing BetAnySports customers can say for certain is that if the Cardinals get men in scoring position, they know how to get those guys home as well as anybody. As a team they hit .330 with men in scoring position, and they will welcome back Allen Craig, who’s been sitting with a sprained foot for seven weeks and whose RISP average was .454. Naturally, that led the league, and as an added attraction, he is one of five Cardinal players who are among the top nine in RISP batting average for those with over 100 bats in those situations. Chew on that for a while.

One of those people is Carlos Beltran, who is making the first World Series appearance of his career, despite being another “Mr. October” of sorts due to his 16 homers and .337 average in post-season play. He hit only .256 in this post-season, but had a dozen RBI in eleven games. Again, we can’t stress enough the ability of this team to come through in the clutch.

They’ve gotten clutch efforts out of a lot of first-year men this season; the Cardinals’ pitching staff has had six important contributors this season who are rookies. Among those guys are Kevin Siegrist, who has scorched opponents for a 0.45 ERA in 45 games, and Seth Maness, who’s had a 2.32 ERA in 66 games. Of course, Wacha (3-0, 0.43 ERA in the post-season) is one of those guys too.

But the Cardinals (+115 underdogs to win the Series at BetAnySports) will be counting on a veteran in Game 1. Adam Wainwright will get some second-place Cy Young votes behind Kershaw for the season he’s had (19-9 record), and he’s had plenty of shining moments since the playoffs started (2-1, 1.57 ERA). He’s going to try to hold off this Red Sox lineup that was the best in the majors when it came to on base percentage,. Wainwright’s control was impeccable this season (1.3 walks per nine innings), and that’s important, since he is not exactly facing a lineup of free swingers. The Red Sox are notoriously patient at the plate, so Wainwright, who is regarded as one of two “aces” for St. Louis in this post-season (along with Wacha), will have to really work for whatever he gets.

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