The St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers are tied at two games apiece in the 2011 World Series heading into Game 5 Monday night inside Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
St. Louis Cardinals at Texas Rangers
St. Louis is playing in its 18th World Series and nobody said it was going to be easy in winning its 11th title. The Cardinals failed to build upon their 2-1 series lead and dropped a 4-0 road contest to the Rangers Sunday night. “These guys, they won the American League,” commented Cardinals designated hitter Lance Berkman. “They have a great team. We have a great team. They’ve won two games and we’ve won two games.” History is certainly on the franchise’s side, starting World Series play up 2-1 eight previous times, winning seven of those. St. Louis is 22-23 versus left-handed starters and the ‘over’ is 24-20 in that situation.
Cardinals starting pitcher Chris Carpenter has tallied three wins in the postseason this year, while the team has captured wins in all four of his outings. The right-hander led the squad to a 3-2 Game 1 home victory in this series on Oct. 19, allowing two runs and five hits over six frames. Carpenter finished the regular season with a 7-6 record and 3.85 ERA in 17 road starts, as opponents hit .272 against him. In 12 career regular-season appearances (11 starts) versus the Rangers, he is 2-6 with a 7.26 ERA.
Texas has not lost two consecutive games since Aug. 23-25 and will look to move ahead in this series before heading back to St. Louis. The Rangers received a sterling performance by starting pitcher Derek Holland last night, throwing the longest scoreless effort by an AL pitcher in the World Series since 1996. Offensively, outfielder Josh Hamilton provided an RBI double, while Mike Napoli finally broke the game open with a three-run homer in the sixth. Texas is 9-10 after shutting out its opponent and 15-5 when playing on Monday.
Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson hasn’t enjoyed a very successful postseason in losing three of his four starts, including the 3-2 setback against Carpenter. The left-hander allowed three runs and four hits over 5 2/3 innings in that particular effort, issuing six walks and striking out four. Wilson finished the regular season with an 8-2 record and 3.69 ERA in 16 home starts, as opponents hit .246 against him. Texas figured that he would be the team’s ace in the playoffs, especially considering his 3-1 record and 1.21 ERA in six September starts to close out the year.
Bettors will likely back the Rangers due to their 25-9 record in Wilson’s last 34 home efforts, while the Cardinals are 1-5 in Carpenter’s last six starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
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