The Associated Press
Game 1: Wednesday at Boston, 7:07 p.m.
Game 2: Thursday at Boston, 7:07 p.m.
Game 3: Saturday at St. Louis, 7:07 p.m.
Game 4: Sunday at St. Louis, 7:15 p.m.
x-Game 5: Oct. 28 at St. Louis, 7:07 p.m.
x-Game 6: Oct. 30 at Boston, 7:07 p.m.
x-Game 7: Oct. 31 at Boston, 7:07 p.m. (All games on Fox)
Cardinals: 2B Matt Carpenter (.318, 11 HRs, 78 RBIs), RF Carlos Beltran (.296, 24, 84), LF Matt Holliday (.300, 22, 94), C Yadier Molina (.319, 12, 80), DH Allen Craig (.315, 13, 97), 3B David Freese (.262, 9, 60), 1B Matt Adams (.284, 17, 51 in 108 games), CF Jon Jay (.276, 7, 67) or Shane Robinson (.250, 2, 16 in 144 ABs), SS Pete Kozma (.217, 1, 35) or Daniel Descalso (.238, 5, 43).
Red Sox: CF Jacoby Ellsbury (.298, 9, 53), RF Shane Victorino (.294, 15, 61), 2B Dustin Pedroia (.301, 9, 84), DH David Ortiz (.309, 30, 103), 1B Mike Napoli (.259, 23, 92), LF Jonny Gomes (.247, 13, 52) or Daniel Nava (.303, 12, 66), C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (.273, 14, 65), SS Stephen Drew (.253, 13, 67), 3B Xander Bogaerts (.250, 1, 5 in 44 ABs).
Cardinals: RH Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA), RH Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 in 15 games, nine starts), RH Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 in 37 games, 15 starts), RH Lance Lynn (15-10, 3.97).
Red Sox: LH Jon Lester (15-8, 2.75), RH John Lackey (10-13, 3.52), RH Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74), RH Jake Peavy (12-5, 4.17 with White Sox and Red Sox).
Need to know
• While these teams havent run into each other in interleague play since June 2008, they have met in three memorable World Series throughout the years: St. Louis won seven-game thrillers in 1946 and 1967 before Boston rolled to a 2004 sweep that halted its 86-year championship drought. Aside from Yankees-Dodgers, there hasnt been a more frequent matchup since that first Red Sox-Cardinals clash.
• Each of those Series matchups left its mark in baseball lore. There was Enos Slaughters mad dash home in 1946, when Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky appeared to hesitate on the relay, deciding a World Series that pitted Ted Williams against Stan Musial. There was Bob Gibson denying Carl Yastrzemski and Bostons Impossible Dream in 1967. And there was Curt Schillings bloody sock and the end of The Curse of the Bambino nine years ago.
• Both franchises rank among the most successful in baseball over the past 15 years. The Red Sox are seeking their third World Series title in 10 seasons. The Cardinals are going for their second in three years and third since 2006.
• St. Louis had plenty to overcome this year after losing longtime ace Chris Carpenter, closer Jason Motte and shortstop Rafael Furcal to season-ending injuries before the season even started.
• Wainwright tied Washington RHP Jordan Zimmermann for the NL lead in wins and joined Dizzy Dean (1934-35) and Mort Cooper (1942-43) as the only St. Louis pitchers to lead the league twice.
• Boston returned to the postseason for the first time since 2009 after one of the most tumultuous periods in franchise history. Following an unprecedented collapse in September 2011, the Red Sox brought in manager Bobby Valentine. Players rebelled against Valentine, and the team won just 69 games its worst finish in almost half a century. The rebuilding began with the August 2012 trade of Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford to the Dodgers.
• The Red Sox were successful on 86.6 percent of stolen base attempts, the best in AL history since baseball started keeping track of caught stealings in the 1920s. Boston was successful on its final 39 tries during the regular season and 11 of 13 in the playoffs.
Three reasons the Red Sox will win
Pedroia and Papi. Both have World Series experience, and both can deliver under postseason pressure. Ortizs grand slam salvaged Game 2 of the ALCS against Detroit. While Ortiz is the only player remaining from the 2004 World Series title team, Pedroia, Jon Lester and Jacoby Ellsbury were on the 2007 champions.
The Closer. Koji Uehara inherited the job in Boston when former All-Stars Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey were injured. The 38-year-old right-hander was phenomenal all summer, compiling 27 straight scoreless outings and retiring 37 batters in a row during one stretch. He took home ALCS MVP honors with three saves and a win against Detroit. He is 1-1 with five saves, 13 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in nine innings this postseason.
Fenway. The Red Sox went 53-28 at Fenway Park during the regular season and were 4-1 at home during the playoffs and 3-2 on the road. While the Cardinals were 54-27 at Busch Stadium this season and 5-1 during the playoffs, they were 2-3 on the road vs. Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, and they wont have the luxury of home-field advantage in the World Series.
Three reasons the Cardinals will win
Wainwright and Wacha. Adam Wainwright took a tough-luck loss in the NLCS but is 4-1 with a 2.10 ERA and four saves in 16 career postseason games, including seven starts. Wacha, the NLCS MVP, has been almost unhittable lately, displaying remarkable poise for a 22-year-old rookie. With the Cardinals facing elimination in the division series against Pittsburgh, Wacha won 2-1 to send the series back to St. Louis. In the NLCS, he outpitched LAs Clayton Kershaw twice and threw 13 2/3 scoreless innings. He is 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three postseason starts.
Carlos Beltran. The former Royals outfielder has become one of the greatest hitters in playoff history. In 45 postseason games, he has a .337 average and 16 home runs. Beltran, 36, has finally reached the first World Series of his 16-year career after three painful losses in Game 7 of the NLCS. Now, well get to see what the eight-time All-Star can do on the biggest stage.
Yaddy. Catcher Yadier Molina, who put up an MVP-caliber season, is the unquestioned team leader. Not only can he handle a pitching staff, the guy can hit, batting .319 with 12 homers and 80 RBIs. With a rocket arm, Molina should make it tough on the Runnin Red Sox he threw out 19 of 45 runners trying to steal this year.