World Series 2011: Who Holds the Edge in Game 7?

Antonio BonkalskiContributor IIIOctober 28, 2011

World Series 2011: Who Holds the Edge in Game 7?

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    If anyone was under a rock last night, they missed one of the most thrilling World Series games ever played.

    Game 6 was a momentous game for the Cardinals and a crushing loss for the Rangers.

    Texas saw themselves winning on multiple occasions throughout the game, but by pure perseverance, the Cardinals found a way to come out victorious.

    Thanks to hometown hero David Freese, the Cardinals live to play a one game showdown against the Rangers.

    It all comes down to this: One game, one chance to be etched in the glory of the MLB forever.

    So who holds the edge?

Starting Pitcher

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    The starting pitchers for tonight's game are Matt Harrison for the Texas Rangers and Chris Carpenter for the St. Louis Cardinals.

    In Harrison's first start against the Cardinals, the Rangers lost and he only lasted a short 3.2 innings. 

    He gave up six hits and five total runs (three earned) in his outing and is looking to put that game out of his mind with a win in the biggest of all stages.

    Carpenter has started two games against the Rangers and played well in both of them.

    In his last appearance, Carpenter stayed solid for seven innings and only gave up two runs. However, the Cardinals could not capitalize and faltered to the Rangers.

    So who holds the edge in this game?

    Even though many are criticizing the pitching efforts of Carpenter when he is not on full rest, he will pull together for one last game to help the Cardinals with his experience.

    Harrison may play well, but Carpenter will shine in this pitchers duel.

Relief Pitchers

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    After last night, relief pitchers are in the air for both teams.

    The Cardinals' bullpen has been shaky as of late. They will need Jason Motte to be on top of his game, as he will likely play tonight.

    The Rangers' bullpen has been solid throughout the playoffs, but now they are playing horribly.

    The reason why the Cardinals have the edge in this game is because of how bad Texas played last night.

    If this were based on pure talent, Texas would be the clear winner with arms like Ogando and Feliz in the bullpen, but their morale has to be down after losing in that fashion, so they will not have the command needed to win the game.

    Also, barring any phone problems, Tony La Russa will know what to do in tight situations.

Catcher

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    EDGE: Texas Rangers

    The Rangers have the edge at catcher with Mike Napoli sitting behind the plate.

    Napoli is as clutch as they come and has been nothing short of spectacular this postseason. Even though Molina can be good at points, he holds no comparison to Napoli. 

    Napoli is also the second player all-time to have four multi-RBI games in the same Fall Classic, joining only Mickey Mantle.

1st Baseman

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    One man is the force behind the Cardinals lineup, and his name is Albert Pujols.

    This is the obvious edge because Pujols is the most dangerous hitter on the field. If the Rangers have to pitch to him, he will make them pay.

    Also, Michael Young committed two errors in yesterday's game, so he will be less than optimistic about his performance.

    Bottom line: No one in the field wants to see Pujols step into the batter's box; this makes him the most powerful player on the field.

2nd Baseman

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    EDGE: Texas Rangers

    The Rangers have Ian Kinsler, who can come through in clutch situations. He also has speed on the base paths to get into scoring position for big bats like Cruz and Beltre to drive him in.

    The Cardinals have Nick Punto, who has been struggling in the postseason, especially in big spots.

    The Rangers have the edge because of Kinsler's ability both defensively and offensively, while the Cardinals have yet to see Punto come through in the clutch this postseason.

3rd Baseman

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    Hometown hero David Freese has been spectacular for the Cards this postseason.

    After being the NLCS Most Valuable Player, he continues to perform—especially in big situations.

    Last night solidified the edge for the Cards because Freese not only tied the game in the ninth, but ended up winning it for St. Louis as well.

    Beltre has been playing well at third for the Rangers, but because of Freese's performance and impact on the game, the Cards have the edge.

Shortstop

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    EDGE: Texas Rangers

    For shortstop, the Rangers have Elvis Andrus, a speedster on the base paths who gives the Rangers options for how to navigate the game.

    Even though Andrus hasn't been playing particularly well this postseason, he is playing much better than his counterpart.

    Rafael Furcal has been slumping this postseason, to say the least.

    With a batting average of .176 in the playoffs and an even lower average of .120 in the World Series, the edge cannot go to the Cardinals.

    Because of Furcal's slump, the edge goes to Texas.

Left Field

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    EDGE: Texas Rangers

    The Texas Rangers have a powerful bat and a great defensive player in Josh Hamilton slotted in left field.

    The Cardinals will not play Matt Holliday tonight and instead will go with rookie Adron Chambers.

    This is a big hit for the Cards, because even though Holliday is slumping, putting in a rookie in the biggest game of the season might lead to some bad things. 

    With Hamilton finally getting a home run last game, he is looking to continue to hit. No one really knows what to expect from speedy outfielder Chambers.

Center Field

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    EDGE: Toss-up

    There is no clear edge as to what team has the better center fielder.

    For the Rangers, David Murphy and Craig Gentry have not been playing well as of late and are the biggest weaknesses for team.

    For the Cardinals, it's going to be either Skip Schumaker or Jon Jay. Both players do not have the ability to stand out and will not be very important factors to a victory for the Cardinals.

    Because both teams have weak center fielders, there is not an edge here.

Right Fielder

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    How can you go against a man like Nelson Cruz, who was the ALCS MVP and has been a powerful bat for Texas all season?

    Lance Berkman, that's how.

    Berkman is hitting .435 in the series. He and Freese have been the most clutch players on the Cards. 

    In big situations, Berkman comes through and with Cruz up in the air with his injury last night, the edge goes to the Cardinals.

Game Result

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    EDGE: St. Louis Cardinals

    Last night's game was something that could come out of a movie script, and most likely if that script would continue, the Cardinals would win Game 7.

    The Cardinals have momentum in their favor and also have home field advantage for the game. 

    They have their star pitcher Carpenter on the hump and even though they're missing Holliday, they still have a very solid lineup that can get the job done against Harrison and the struggling relief pitchers of the Rangers.

    This is a bold prediction, but look for the Cardinals to raise the trophy tonight.