The 2013 World Series pits the Boston Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals—two storied organizations that feature star-studded lineups and marquee starting pitchers.
It promises to be a captivating duel for MLB's ultimate prize, the Commissioner's Trophy.
Boston has home-field advantage for the World Series at historic Fenway Park, where it nearly lost the first two games of the ALCS to the Detroit Tigers before a David Ortiz grand slam in Game 2 ignited the Red Sox to a comeback win, as they went on take the series, 4-2.
Another grand slam by Shane Victorino in Game 6 led the Red Sox to close out the Tigers on Saturday night.
St. Louis ousted the Los Angeles Dodgers in their NLCS by roughing up Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in Game 6 at Busch Stadium. The Cardinals' performance in their 9-0 win gives manager Mike Matheny's club plenty of momentum entering the Fall Classic.
Before providing a prediction as to how the 109th World Series will play out, let's take a look at the TV coverage and the crucial pitching probables.
|2013 World Series TV Schedule|
|Game||Date||Matchup||Time (EDT)||Channel||Pitching Probables|
|1||Wed., Oct. 23||St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox||7:30 p.m.||FOX||Adam Wainwright (STL) vs. Jon Lester (BOS)|
|2||Thurs., Oct 24||St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox||7:30 p.m.||FOX||Michael Wacha (STL) vs. Clay Buchholz (BOS)|
|3||Sat., Oct. 26||Boston Red Sox @ St. Louis Cardinals||7:30 p.m.||FOX||John Lackey (BOS) vs. Joe Kelly (STL)|
|4||Sun., Oct. 27||Boston Red Sox @ St. Louis Cardinals||8 p.m.||FOX||TBD|
|5*||Mon., Oct. 28||Boston Red Sox @ St. Louis Cardinals||7:30 p.m.||FOX||TBD|
|6*||Wed., Oct. 30||St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox||7:30 p.m.||FOX||TBD|
|7*||Thurs., Oct. 31||St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox||7:30 p.m.||FOX||TBD|
|Source: MLB.com (*if necessary)|
2013 World Series Prediction: Red Sox in seven
These two teams finished with identical 97-65 regular-season records for the best marks in baseball. That alone portends for this series going the distance.
The amount of firepower both teams have in the batting order is staggering, as they constitute two of baseball's top offenses in run production this season.
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Cardinals steal one of the first two games at Fenway after having shelled Kershaw and with Adam Wainwright and rookie phenom Michael Wacha on the mound for Game 1 and Game 2, respectively, against the Red Sox.
It will be interesting to see how the 23-year-old Wacha, who was the NLCS MVP, handles one of baseball's biggest stage—Fenway Park. Preventing the top offense in the majors this season from producing is easier said than done, but Wacha has passed every test so far with flying colors.
The Cardinals are more than capable of winning at least one of the first two games, especially since Boston nearly dropped the first two at home against Detroit.
Game 3 will be the turning point, though, as John Lackey will out-pitch counterpart Joe Kelly and give Boston a key leg up in the series at 2-1.
From there, the Cardinals will grind back and even steal the sixth game to force the best game in any sport on Oct. 31. Halloween, however, will haunt St. Louis and leave Boston with its third World Series crown in the past decade.