Cardinals-Red Sox World Series Preview By The Numbers

Forget your team allegiance for just a minute and try to look at this year’s World Series with an objective eye. Not only do you have two baseball-rich, historic teams but you have some of the most exciting players in all of baseball battling it out in what is sure to be one of the best Series’ we’ve seen in quite some time.

Not only is it Boston’s third trip to the Series in a decade but it’s also St. Louis’ fourth in that time span.  It’s also the first time in years that both league-leaders in wins actually met in the World Series and don’t forget this is a rematch from 2004 when the Boston “idiots” swept a St. Louis Cardinals team Tony LaRussa still calls one of the best teams he’s ever managed.

When you dig deeper into the numbers in preparation of this 2013 Cardinals-Red Sox matchup, it’s obvious we’re set for a momentous Series. Here are numbers you need to know:

.330 and .350

As in… The Cardinals hit .330 this season with runners in scoring position, shattering the all-time MLB record. What’s scary is they’ve been better, mashing. 350 with RISP during the NLCS.


As in… A 1.80 ERA for the Cardinals bullpen so far in the postseason. Three guys consistently hit 100 MPH. The Cardinals bullpen has allowed only six earned runs over 19 innings, with 23 strikeouts.

Below are the average velocity of fastballs thrown by the St. Louis relievers according to FanGraphs:

Carlos Martinez 97.6 mph

John Axford 95.3 mph

Kevin Siegrist 95 mph

Seth Maness 90.4 mph

Trevor Rosenthal 96.4 mph

Not only do these kids throw serious heat, but they hit the corners of the plate consistently.


… The number of walks Red Sox closer Koji Uehara has given up since August 3. Yup. Ridiculous. He had one stretch in which he retired 37 batters in a row. He’s been the most dominant reliever in baseball the second half of the season and he rarely tops 89 MPH. He’s 38-years-old. Call him a late bloomer.


Boston scored eleven of their 19 runs (.579) with a reliever on the mound, which included both grand slams via David Ortiz and Shane Victorino. The Tigers bullpen blew it. It’s not likely St. Louis will have such a poor outing.


It’s the fourth time the Cardinals and Red Sox have met in the World Series; the Cards lead all-time 2-1.

1946: Cardinals won in 7 games

1967: Cardinals won in 7 games

2004: Red Sox won in 4 games



… The last year a team reached the World Series following a last place season (Minnesota Twins), which the Red Sox accomplished this year. Below are the most recent teams to accomplish the feat. 

1998: Padres – Lost

2007: Rockies – Lost

2008: Rays – Lost

2013: Red Sox – ?


… Percentage of teams over the last decade that have gone on to win the Series after winning Game 1 — 9 of the last 10 teams to win the opener have won the World Series (21 of the last 25).


… Percentage of teams that have won the Series with home field advantage over the last 27 years (the team with home field advantage has won 22 of the last 27 World Series).


… Allen Craig hit .454 with RISP this season, third best in MLB in 40 years. He’s also led MLB with RISP batting average the last two years. He’s back in the lineup after being out with a foot injury since the last month of the regular season.


… The Red Sox like to run and they’re very good at it. Boston led MLB in stolen base efficiency, successfully swiping bags at an 87 percent clip, a new MLB record. The Red Sox have stolen 11 bases in 10 playoff games this year.


 … The number of steals Jacoby Ellsbury racked up this year, most in the majors.


… Opponents managed only 39 steals against the Cards this year, by far the fewest in MLB. Some guy named Yadier Molina had a lot to do with that.


… The number of Gold Gloves Cards catcher Yadier Molina is about to obtain, which will be his sixth in a row. He only allowed three passed balls all season and obtained a .435 caught stealing percentage, which only trailed A.J. Ellis in the NL.


 … Carlos Beltran’s OPS during the postseason.


… Cardinals rookie Michael Wacha’s recent, accumulative ERA. The NLCS MVP has allowed just nine hits and only one run over his last 29 2/3 innings. He is the first rookie to have two scoreless starts in one post season series. More mind-boggling? He’s thrown 70 changeups this postseason, resulting in just three lousy singles.


… The number of rookies on the Cardinals roster. Yup, St. Louis has a younger average roster than the Pirates; 17 of their 25 players on the NLCS roster had never been arbitration eligible.


… The number of World Series games Boston has won in a row, tied for the fifth longest streak in MLB history.


… The game that separates the two team’s nearly identical records. The Red Sox were 53-28 at home and 44-37 on the road while the Cardinals were 54-27 at home and 43-38 on the road. Maybe home field advantage will play a huge role for the Sox?

Things that are sure to happen:

  • Whether it’s “Big Papi” David Ortiz or Carlos Beltran, both teams will have clutch hits in dramatic moments.
  • Koji Uehara and Trevor Rosenthal will close games in near pressure-busting situations.
  • Jacoby Ellsbury will steal a base.
  • Yadier Molina will throw out a base runner — most likely not Ellsbury.
  • Pete Kozma and Xander Boegarts will make amazing defensive plays in the infield.
  • Adam Wainwright will be the most clutch pitcher of the series.
  • The most famous fan at Fenway will involve one of public service.
  • St. Louis fans will have the best signs.

After days full of hammering the stats and over six months of watching baseball, it’s finally time for the Series to begin. My non-bias opinion says Cardinals in seven games. I think its’ completely feasible that Wainwright could pitch games 1, 4 and 7, if it comes down to it.

My bias opinion says Cardinals in 6 games. My nerves tell me to open a Bible and prep for a game 7.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him @JHelmuth or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.