World Series 2013: Highlighting Fall Classic's Top Impact Players
For the fourth time since 1946, the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox will square off in the best-of-seven World Series.
The Cardinals have won two of the teams' previous three championship series. However, the last postseason series between these two beloved franchises, which came in 2004, ended quickly in a 4-0 sweep as the Red Sox claimed their first title since 1918.
Will Boston even the all-time series at two wins apiece, or will St. Louis win its 12th world championship?
Below, I'll highlight a trio of World Series champions and multiple-time MLB All-Stars who are sure to have a say in which team lifts the Commissioner's Trophy this October.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals, C
One of the best all-around catchers in the game, St. Louis' Yadier Molina will be key for the Cardinals in this fall's World Series.
The 31-year-old is batting .319 this postseason, despite being held under wraps by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Watch for him to break out at the plate against Boston, providing timely hitting for St. Louis in addition to excelling defensively behind the plate.
A five-time MLB All-Star and a two-time World Series champion, Molina has seen and accomplished it all on the diamond in October, and that experience is sure to mold him into an impact player against Boston.
Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox, 2B
Arguably the most versatile threat in this series, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia is the Red Sox's top impact player.
The 2007 American League Rookie of the Year played a big role for Boston in its last World Series title run six years ago and has earned four MLB All-Star nods since 2008 as a result of his impressive play in the field and at the plate.
Pedroia is batting .256 this postseason with six RBI and one stolen base. But whether he's igniting Boston's lineup with his bat or earning key outs with his arm, the team's most valuable star is sure to leave a noticeable mark on this year's Fall Classic.
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals, RHP
The Cardinals will hand the ball to ace Adam Wainwright for Game 1 of the World Series and will call on him again at some point when the series heads west to St. Louis.
Which of these players will leave the biggest imprint on the 2013 World Series?
While youngster Michael Wacha has stolen some of Wainwright's thunder this postseason, the 32-year-old veteran is still 2-1 with 20 strikeouts and a 1.57 ERA. Coming into this series versus Boston, the NL Cy Young Award candidate has surrendered just 17 hits in 23 innings pitched in these playoffs.
If Wainwright can get in a groove and unleash his vicious right-handed curveball with consistency, the Cardinals will be assured multiple wins in this series and will have a phenomenal shot to bring home their third World Series title since 2006.
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