The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox will play the opening game of the 2013 World Series at Fenway Park Wednesday night, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET on FOX
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox
St. Louis has advanced to the Fall Classic by moving past the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers, as it attempts to win its 12th title and third in the past eight years. The Cardinals are expecting to start first baseman Allen Craig as tonight’s designated hitter, which could provide a significant boost to the lineup, as he’s been out with a foot injury since September. This is only the third time since the Wild Card era began in 1995 that the two best teams in each league, record-wise, met in this setting. St. Louis is 12-9 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 12-9 in that situation.
Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA) has compiled a 1.57 ERA in three postseason starts, but he suffered a 3-0 road defeat to the Dodgers on Oct. 14, allowing two runs and six hits over seven frames. The right-hander went 10-3 with a 3.36 ERA in 17 road starts during the regular season, issuing 15 walks and striking out 105 batters in 120.2 combined innings. Wainwright will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Boston is aiming to win its eight championship, and third in the past 10 years, as it was able to eliminate the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays. The Red Sox will likely have slugger David Ortiz in the lineup for every game of this best-of-seven series, as manager John Farrell expects to start him at first base in Games 3, 4 and 5 at Busch Stadium. The team will carry 14 position players and 11 pitchers, which is important to consider when handicapping the upcoming games in a NL ballpark. Boston is 10-6 at home with a money line of -100 to -125.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA) has alternated wins and losses over its first three outings of the 2013 MLB playoffs, as it comes off a 4-3 road victory over the Detroit Tigers last Tuesday. The left-hander went 7-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 13 home starts during the regular season, surrendering six home runs in 87.1 combined frames.
Sports bettors will likely back the Red Sox due to their 4-0 record in their last four World Series home games.