In the last 15 years, the winner of Game 3 of the Fall Classic has gone on to win the World Series 12 times. Now those are good odds.
With the 2011 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals tied at one game apiece, Game 3 in Arlington will very likely be the most important and pivotal game of the best-of-seven set.
The Rangers drastically changed the momentum of the series when, down to their final three outs in Game 2 and trailing 1-0, Texas rallied for two runs and made them stand, winning and coming home with a 1-1 tie in the series rather than an 0-2 hole.
The huge victory—coupled with the plane ride out of the cold, damp Missouri air, and into the familiar hot and humid environment of the lively Rangers Ballpark in Arlington—gives Texas a huge leg up heading into the all-important Game 3.
Keys to Game 3: Texas
Offense: For the Rangers, their offense will be the key. Thoroughly throttled through the first 18 innings of the World Series at Busch Stadium, Texas bats must wake up if the Rangers want to finally break through and win a world championship.
Even with the Game 2 victory, the Rangers have hit just .186, averaging just two runs a game in the first two contests. They'll have to do better against the Cardinals, also a very good offensive team.
Use the home crowd: The Rangers are back home with a split, which looked all but impossible going into the ninth inning of Game 2. Texas needs to get the crowd into the game early, preferably with an early lead, building on the momentum gained from the get-out-of-town victory Thursday night.
Keys to Game 3: St. Louis
Forget Game 2: For the Cardinals, erasing the memory of Game 2 is absolutely essential before the first pitch in Arlington Saturday.
St. Louis let one get away—everyone knows it. But the Red Birds can't dwell on the past and something they can't change. If they do, it could cost them the series, as the game of baseball eats up those who play into the opposition's momentum swing.
Give Pujols RBI Chances: The hitters in front of Albert Pujols are 1-for-14 so far in the series. Rafael Furcal and Jon Jay are going to have to find a way to get on base for Pujols, who, despite a slow start to the World Series, is still hitting .400 for the postseason.
Game 3 Usually Telling
The winner of Game 3 historically has a huge advantage the rest of the way, and the rest of the way means two victories to baseball immortality.