Thanks to some fine pitching by Chris Carpenter, the St. Louis Cardinals are up in the 2011 World Series 1-0. They can double that lead on Thursday night in MLB betting action as they take on the Texas Rangers.
As Texas has proven throughout the majority of this postseason, it is going to have a heck of a lot of trouble scoring runs without the use of the long ball. The only two runs of Game 1 came off of the bat of Mike Napoli, as he blasted the dinger that tied the game at 2-2 before the Cards took the lead for good shortly thereafter. As has also been proven, it's hard for these top pitchers in the bullpen to make it into games in which the Rangers are trailing, so it's imperative that they take the lead early in this game to set up guys like Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz in the late frames. On Thursday night, Colby Lewis will get his second taste of the World Series after pitching well in the postseason a year ago. Lewis has been a surprisingly consistent pitcher, as he has probably had the most reasonable stuff of all four of the Texas starters. In all likelihood, Scott Feldman, the long reliever won't be available to bail him out, as he was used yesterday when CJ Wilson got the hook. That being said, Lewis might be asked to pitch deeper into this game than the other starters have been, though there is an off day coming to travel on Friday.
As always, Manager Tony LaRussa isn't afraid to use his bullpen in fine fashion. He went through four relievers in two innings just to get the ball to his closer, Jason Motte for the ninth inning on Wednesday night, but when the dust settled, all four relievers got holds, and Motte closed the deal to give Chris Carpenter the win. The bats were a tad quieter on this night, as there were only a handful of hits and nowhere near the over seven runs per game that the team averaged in the NLCS against the Milwaukee Brewers, but it was enough to take the 1-0 series lead. Originally, we were looking at Kyle Lohse pitching in Game 2, but instead, LaRussa will hand the ball off to Jaime Garcia. Garcia has led the Cards to 20 wins in his 35 starts this year including the playoffs, but in the postseason, he has failed to pitch through the fifth inning in two of his three outings, and he has shown major signs of fatigue throughout. With the bullpen taxed on Wednesday, it's going to be hard to get through this game.
Texas Rangers @ St. Louis Cardinals Pick: Lewis is really the one pitcher that we have some confidence in right now for the Rangers. The rest of these starters, really on both sides, have been shady at best in the postseason, including Garcia. That being said, as underdogs on the road facing the prospects of an 0-2 series hole going home, take the Rangers to level this series.
MLB Pick: Texas Rangers -105 at Bookmaker Sportsbook.