Allen Craig is on the Cardinals' World Series roster, according to CBS Sports' Mike Axisa, and he presents a potential nightmare for the Red Sox.
On one hand, Craig has been out for six weeks with a foot injury. But as Bleacher Report MLB Lead Writer Zach Rymer says in his video preview, being healthy doesn't guarantee Craig will have his timing back:
If he doesn't have his timing back, he's not going to be able to help the Cardinals at all. But if he does have his timing back, then the Cardinals are getting back a guy who hit .315 with that .454 average with runners in scoring position. Their offense is only hitting .210 with .610 OPS in the postseason, so it could definitely use a boost.
In Game 1, Craig will face Jon Lester, and if Lester wants to ensure Craig is not a nightmare for him, he has to use his changeup.
According to Brooksbaseball.net, Craig has seen a changeup 111 times against a left-handed pitcher this season and has a .207 average against it. However, he also hit three of his 13 home runs off of changeups.
The changeup has been one of Lester's better pitches. He has thrown it 438 times to right-handed hitters who are hitting .214 off of it.
On the other hand, John Lackey would be better served to throw his slider in key situations against Craig. Lackey is allowing right-handed batters to hit .233 off of it while Craig is hitting .250 against sliders.
Craig will be the DH in Games 1 and 2, according to Axisa. Depending on how Craig performs in those two games will determine whether he'll start at first base when the World Series goes to St. Louis or if Matt Adams will continue to be the Cardinals' first baseman.