For the final time this year, the Texas Rangers will be engaging in an MLB betting affair at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They'll take on the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5 of the World Series, with the winner pushing the loser to the brink of elimination.
The bats for the Cards were totally silenced on Sunday night, which probably wasn't all that much of a shock after the outburst led by 1B Albert Pujols on Saturday. Still, going back to the Gateway to the West down 3-2 isn't the end of the world, though of course, the team with the 3-2 advantage seemingly always win series like this one. We were wondering how Manager Tony LaRussa was going to deploy his ace, and it appears as though the final time that Chris Carpenter will be on the mound this season will be in Game 5, save for perhaps a cameo out of the bullpen in Game 7. Carpenter could have pitched on short rest in Game 4 and then done so again in a potential Game 7, but LaRussa decided to give him the extra day and hope for a full start. The righty allowed two runs over six innings in Game 1 of this series to get the win. He has been remarkable at times in these playoffs, especially in that complete game shutout over the Philadelphia Phillies in the nervy Game 5 of the NLDS, but that was the only game in which he made it to the 90 pitch count.
Speaking of a great pitch count, that's exactly what the Rangers needed out of Derek Holland on Sunday night, and he gave them just that. The lefty may have given himself a bit of an inside track towards World Series MVP by throwing 8.1 scoreless innings before turning it over to Neftali Feliz to shut the door and to level this series. Now, the pen has had basically a full day off in preparation for this one, and now is when Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando, and all of the arms in that bullpen can really help out. The question is whether CJ Wilson is going to put his team in a position to win or not. The southpaw pitched well in Game 1, and the lefties have really all pitched well against the Cards in this series. Still, the solid 5.2 innings was really the only good start that Wilson has had in these playoffs, and if he can't at least provide his team with a solid six innings or so, it's going to be an uphill climb just to avoid having to win two games in St. Louis to clinch the team's first World Series title.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Texas Rangers Pick: Wilson hasn't been great of late, but the man has led his team to a 22-16 record this year including the playoffs. Carpenter has been great of late, but he was only 20-18 for the whole year. The math just doesn't add up. There's no reason why the Rangers should only be very short favorites on the MLB odds. Look for them to take the edge in this series.
MLB Pick: Texas Rangers -125 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.