The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers continue the 2011 World Series Sunday night in playing Game 4 inside Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
St. Louis Cardinals at Texas Rangers
St. Louis moved ahead of Texas in tallying a 16-7 win in Game 3 last night, led by the offensive onslaught of first baseman Albert Pujols. The Cardinals slugger hit three home runs among five hits, while also driving in six runs and amassing 14 total bases. “We need to come out Sunday and do the same thing,” commented Pujols in a post-game news conference last night. St. Louis is 54-54 in World Series games now, including a 26-28 mark on the road. Over the last two-plus seasons, the team is 76-73 against left-handed starters, while the ‘under’ is 77-63 in that span.
Cardinals starting pitcher Edwin Jackson is 1-0 with a 5.84 ERA in three postseason starts, but the team has captured wins in each contest. The right-hander tallied a 7-6 record and 4.76 ERA in 15 road appearances (14 starts), as opponents hit for a .301 average against him. Jackson came over from the Chicago White Sox during the middle of the season, tallying a 5-2 mark and 3.58 ERA with the St. Louis Cardinals in 13 outings (12 starts). In seven career regular-season starts versus the Rangers, he is 2-3 with a 4.02 ERA, including a 1-2 record and 3.25 ERA in four outings at Rangers Ballpark.
Texas has fallen behind in the series for the second time and will now look to buck a trend of 37 of 52 winners of Game 3 going onto win the title when the series was tied at a game apiece. The Rangers may need to rethink their approach to pitching to Pujols. “I just hope that we can make him chase some stuff, not put stuff in the wrong spot,” stated Rangers manager Ron Washington. Offensively, third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Nelson Cruz have success against Jackson, combining to go 11 for 26 against him. Texas is 4-8 this season after allowing 10 or more runs, while the ‘over’ is 7-5 in those games.
Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland won a start in the ALDS versus Tampa Bay, but came out of the ALCS with an 8.59 ERA in two outings versus the Detroit Tigers. The left-hander finished the regular season with a 16-5 record and 3.95 ERA, issuing 67 free passes and registering 162 strikeouts in 198 frames. Holland tallied a solid 8-2 mark and 4.69 ERA in 16 home starts, but allowed opponents to hit for a .292 average. The 25-year-old will be making his first career start versus the Cardinals.
Bettors will likely back the Cardinals due to their 5-1 record versus left-handers on the road, while the Rangers are 1-6 in Holland’s last seven outings versus NL opponents.
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