World Series preview & predictions

World Series preview & predictions
October 23, 2013, 12:45 pm
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Where: Fenway Park, Boston, MA
Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Chance of rain, 47 degrees, wind 6 mph
Starting pitchers: STL – Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94) / BOS – Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75)

Over eight months after pitchers and catchers reported for spring training, we are finally down to two teams. The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox will face off in the World Series for the fourth time in major league history, and the first time since 2004. Boston swept that series, but these teams are much different clubs nine years later.

Here’s how Mark Zuckerman and I see the series playing out:

Mark Zuckerman’s keys to a Cardinals’ win

1. HOPE CRAIG HAS AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT — Allen Craig was MLB’s best clutch hitter during the regular season (he batted an astounding .454 with runners in scoring position) but the Cards slugger hasn’t played since spraining his foot on Sept. 4. He’s ready to return now and will serve as DH for Games 1 and 2, but can he just step right in and contribute? If he can, St. Louis’ already-deep lineup becomes even more formidable.

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