The Texas Rangers return to the World Series in 2011 looking for their first title in franchise history. The Cardinals are trying to win the eleventh World Series title for their storied franchise. None of that really matters though as the two teams take the field for game 1 in St. Louis. Winning the first game goes a long way towards winning the series. Over the last 8 years, the team that won game 1 went on to win the title 7 times. Which team will win game 1 this year?
2011 World Series Game 1 Pitching Matchup
The Rangers and Cardinals will look to put their best foot forward in game 1 with their aces on the mound. For the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter gets the ball in the series opener. Carpenter put together another solid year in St. Louis going 11-9 with a 3.45 ERA. In the postseason Carpenter has been a bit unpredictable. He was brilliant in the deciding game of the NLDS against the Phillies with a complete game, no walk, three-hit shutout. In his other two postseason starts he pitched a total of 8 innings and allowed 9 hits, 6 walks, and 7 runs. St. Louis will need Carpenter to be on his A-game against the dangerous Rangers lineup.
C.J. Wilson was great all year for the Rangers winning 16 games and posting an ERA of 2.94. However, in the postseason, Wilson has been atrocious on the mound. Wilson has started three games in the 2011 playoffs and has an ERA of 8.04 in in 15.2 innings. He has allowed 8 walks and 6 homeruns in those three games. In last year’s World Series Wilson started game 2 against the Giants, going 6 innings and allowing two earned runs. The key for Wilson will be keeping Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols in the ballpark.
2011 World Series Game 1 Prediction
The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals took different paths but arrived in the same place, the 2011 World Series. The Rangers won the AL West fairly easily and outscored their opponents by 178 runs this year. The Cardinals had to scratch and claw their way to the NL Wlidcard and squeaked into the postseason thanks to the Atlanta Braves going 2-8 in their last 10. It really doesn’t matter how they got here. What matters is, which team will be the first to win 4 games.
Trying to predict the winner of a single baseball game is like calling a coin toss. If you get it right you act like you have some special powers of prophesy, if you miss it, oh well, I’ll get it next time. With that being said I will attempt to predict game 1 anyway.
I give the edge in game 1 to the St. Louis Cardinals for three reasons. First, Rangers starter C.J. Wilson has had trouble with walks and homeruns, and the Cardinals have multiple patient power hitters in their lineup (Pujols, Holliday, Berkman). Second, the Cardinals are at home. And finally, the rally squirrel. If you don’t believe in the power of something as silly as a rally squirrel, go ask the 2002 Giants if they believe in the Angels rally monkey.
Just for fun, here’s the score:
Cardinals – 8
Rangers – 5