The World Series starts tonight, with two somewhat surprising participants.
The Rangers, despite being the defending AL champions, were written off last winter after they couldn’t convince ace Cliff Lee to re-sign. And the Cardinals? Well, they were written off as late as September, when they trailed the Braves in the wild-card race by 8.5 games.
This is a tricky series to predict. (Well, OK, they all are for me — I’m 2-4 picking postseason series this year, which some of you know still is much improved from the 0-7 I posted in 2008.) Something tells me the Cardinals aren’t gonna go quietly, even though the Rangers have superior talent. Tony La Russa can manage circles around most folks, though Ron Washington might just be quirky enough to keep up.
Both teams can hit, both teams can pitch, both teams play decent defense. If there’s a clear edge, it’s speed — Texas has it, St. Louis doesn’t.
Plus, I expect the Rangers to be a seriously motivated bunch, having felt the sting of falling short in the World Series just 12 months ago.
So after studying the teams and putting together today’s World Series preview in The News, I settled on: Rangers in five.