While the World Series will shift venues for game three of the event on Saturday, one trend in the clash between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals will remain – healthy run scoring.
In games one and two of the World Series, a total of 15 runs were scored (7.5 average). This might not seem like an overwhelming sum, but if you consider that both teams threw their best two pitchers (Jon Lester and John Lackey for the Red Sox; Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha for the Cardinals), these numbers are pretty impressive.
The worst post-season ERA amongst that bunch coming into their World Series start was a relatively stingy 3.00 (Lackey), while the other three starters had been far more dominating.
Now you reach a pair of starting pitchers without the same recent pedigree. The Cardinals’ Joe Kelly has allowed nine runs in 16 1/3 innings pitched in these playoffs.
In fact, in two National League Championship starts he registered a 4.91 ERA. Boston’s Jake Peavy is coming off an even more disastrous start from the American League Championship Series. In his only outing against the Detroit Tigers in that series, he gave up seven runs on five hits in just three innings of work.
Peavy said that he was too excited for that start, which was his first in the playoffs since 2006, so I do expect him to throw better here, but there’s still a lot of room for run scoring even if he does improve his game.
This is especially true considering the fact that the Cardinals registered a higher team batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage when at home compared to road games.
On the other side of the ledger, if you fear a run-scoring swoon from the Red Sox because they’re now on the road, think again. Boston tallied 434 runs in 81 away contests this year compared to 419 runs in 81 home games. In other words, they actually were more prolific in the batter’s box when they left Fenway Park than when they were there.
Look for a run total of more than seven and take it at 1.78.
Back over seven runs between the St Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox at 1.78
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