2011 World Series: Why the Stats Suggest St. Louis Cardinals Will Win the Title

Manny RandhawaCorrespondent IIIOctober 19, 2011

2011 World Series: Why the Stats Suggest St. Louis Cardinals Will Win the Title

0 of 3

    Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci says we're in for a classic seven-game World Series between two evenly matched clubs.

    ESPN suggests that the Texas Rangers are clear favorites over the St. Louis Cardinals.

    But what do the statistics indicate?

    That there will once again be a championship parade down the streets of St. Louis.

1. Hitting

1 of 3

    The Cardinals have out-hit everyone, including the Texas Rangers, this postseason.

    St. Louis has a team batting average of .288 in October, compared to the Rangers' .259.

    The Cards' team OPS is .793 compared to .764 for Texas.

    The Red Birds have scored 62 runs compared to the Rangers' 55.

    St. Louis pinch-hitters are batting .400 in the postseason (8-for-20), while the Rangers have gone 0-for-4 in pinch-hit situations.

    As spectacular as Nelson Cruz and other Rangers have been at the plate, the Cardinals have just been better.

2. Pitching

2 of 3

    With most experts predicting a slug-fest in this year's World Series, pitching could play a pivotal role.

    The Cardinals have the pitching edge based on the way they've been performing in October.

    St. Louis and Texas have identical opponents' batting averages this postseason (.241), but the Cardinals have the edge in team WHIP (1.13 to Texas' 1.30) and opponents' OPS (.699 to Rangers' .781).

    The Rangers have given up the most home runs this postseason (20), yielding eight more than the Cardinals.

3. The Intangibles and X-Factor

3 of 3

    Of course, stats can only take you so far in baseball.

    There's always that intangible—that X-factor—that can change an inning, a game, an entire series, especially on the biggest of stages: the World Series.

    The Cardinals have the edge when it comes to intangibles.

    They clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season after being as many as 8.5 games behind the Braves in the wild card race on September 1.

    Theirs has been a magical late-season run and they're on a hot streak much like so many underdogs of MLB lore, including last season's champions, the San Francisco Giants.

    As for X-factors, many will point to Nelson Cruz, who set postseason records for home runs and RBI during his torrid ALCS, in which he was named MVP.

    But the fact is, the Cardinals' second-year man David Freese is hitting .425 this postseason, compared to Cruz's .265. He has also driven in 14 runs to Cruz's 13 and has a 1.315 OPS to Cruz's 1.177.

    Freese is on an epic tear—as are his Cardinals—and St. Louis has the edge in the quest to claim baseball's ultimate prize.