By Ray Hamill
Get ready for what should be a great World Series.
With identical 97-65 records, not only are the Red Sox and Cardinals the two best teams of this year – the first time the top two teams have met in a World Series since 1999 – but they are also the two most accomplished clubs of the past decade.
And whoever wins this one will become the first three-time World Series winner of the new millennium.
As far as the matchup, there is little to choose between the two, with strong pitching and deep lineups, although the Sox are the favorites among the oddsmakers in Vegas.
In some ways, it’s a great matchup for purists, with these two clubs among the most storied in history – the Cards are second all-time with 11 World Series, while the Red Sox are tied for fourth with seven – while St. Louis is making its fourth appearance in the Fall Classic in just 10 years, and Boston its third.
History, of course, is nice and all but will have little to do with the outcome of this series, and the current players care less about what happened in the past than they do about the players they’ll be facing tonight.
When these clubs met in 2004, the Sox won in four straight.
There won’t be a sweep this time.
In fact, if it goes less than six I’ll be stunned.
But I’m taking the Sox to win in seven. Their lineup is deeper (barely) and that should be enough (barely) to wear down the Cards pitching and defense.
Of course we all know what happened the last time the Red Sox won this many World Series to begin a century …