It’s all come down to a game 7 for the Rangers and Cardinals. We’re going to take a brief look at the factors that will enable the Cardinals to win tonight’s game and take the series. Betting odds are taken from Bodog.
Line: TEX (63/50), STL (25/34)
After a rain delay and two games in which they totaled two runs, the Cardinals found a way to get it together late to come back and win Game 6 in impressive fashion.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, David Freese tripled to deep right field, as Pujols and Berkman scored. That pushed extra innings. Both teams managed two runs in the 10th inning, but it was again David Freese who worked his magic in the 11th, homering to deep center field. The two hits represented Freese’s only two of the night, as he lifted his world series average to .333. If not for the monster game by Pujols in game 3, there would have to be some MVP talk for Freese. His three RBIs were matched only by Lance Berkman, who has been pretty amazing in his own right, and is hitting .435 for the series.
On the post season, Freese is .393 with 5 HRs and 19 RBIs. After the game he was overwhelmed.
“Man that was incredible…This is just a good feeling and I’m pumped we’re playing Friday.”
So is Chris Carpenter. The rain delay of Game 6 gave Carpenter another day to rest his arm, which immensely benefitted the Cardinals. He has logged a lot of innings this year on a 36 year old arm, but his adrenaline should be enough to throw well for yet another game. Last outing he threw 101 pitches in a 4-2 loss in Game 5.
Having the 2005 Cy Young winner on the mound gives the Cardinals a pretty legit chance of keeping runs off the board, and even if Carpenter can’t blank the Rangers like he did the Brewers, the Cardinals found a way to score last game when they needed it and they could provide Carpenter with similar run support, which would pose big problems for the Rangers.
Matt Harrison will get the start for Texas. Ron Washington commented that Harrison is the man “(because) he has been a big part of this team all year…That’s why we are where we are, and that’s why I’m saying Harrison.”
Harrison became a full time starter this season and went 14-9 with a 3.39 ERA. His 1.28 WHIP was among the best on the Rangers staff, and opposing hitters batted only .257, his lowest batting average allowed for his career. He is young, at 26, and as a former third round pick of the Braves, he is cashing in on the potential that made the lefty worth such a pick. He’s a game 7 starter, so he has arrived as much as anyone on the Rangers staff.
One thing that makes me weary of my Cardinals prediction for this series and for tonight’s game is the fact that the Rangers haven’t lost back to back games since late August against the Red Sox. In all time history, the Cardinals are 7-3 in World Series Game 7s. I am standing behind my series preview prediction of the Cardinals winning this series, and they are favored for tonight’s game, as well. Bettors are wise to back the Cardinals on the basis of their 10 run game 6 and Carpenter’s start