8 a.m. ET: And then there were two.
The Red Sox and Cardinals ended the regular season atop the American League and National League, respectively. Now, three and a half weeks later, Boston and St. Louis are the only two teams still standing. They’ll square off for baseball’s ultimate prize beginning on Wednesday.
The Red Sox and Cardinals will hook up in the World Series for the fourth time ever. St. Louis edged out Boston in 1946 and 1967, but the Red Sox emerged victorious in the teams’ last Fall Classic back in 2004. Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz and Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina are the only two holdovers from that ’04 series, which ended with Boston erasing an 86-year title drought.
The Red Sox and Cardinals have combined for three World Series titles since going toe-to-toe in 2004. The Red Sox brought home the trophy in 2007, while the Cardinals earned titles in 2006 and 2011. Each team would love to add to its trophy case, though, and each team has plenty of reasons to believe it’ll be the last one standing when all is said and done.
This year’s World Series marks one of the most evenly-matched in recent memory. Not only do the two teams have identical win totals, but they also possess many of the same strengths. Each is known for having a certain level of competitiveness and grit.
Jon Lester will take the ball in Game 1 for the Red Sox, who defeated the Rays in the ALDS and the Tigers in the ALCS to punch their ticket to the World Series. Adam Wainwright will get the nod for the Cardinals, who took down the Pirates and the Dodgers en route to the big dance. Boston has the luxury of home-field advantage by virtue of the American League winning this year’s All-Star Game.
This series is expected to be exciting, close and well-played. And finally, it’s just hours away. Wednesday’s Game 1 at Fenway Park is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. Be sure to check back throughout the day and into the night. It should be a wild ride.
Filed under: Boston Red Sox, Headlines, Live Blog, Ricky Doyle, St. Louis Cardinals, World Series