Rangers and Cardinals square off tonight for Game 1 of the 2011 Fall Classic! Let’s do a position by position advantage:
Cardinals: Albert Pujols. The Machine. The Terminator. The three time* MVP. Sure he had his worst season, a Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines-type season, but the man is far away from Terminator: Salvation. “WE ARE ALL DEAD?” Maybe not. Let’s say he’s the Sarah Connor Chronicles of first basemen: really great, worthy of the legendary predecessor and looking like it could possibly get better for a few more years.
*Should’ve been many more…
Rangers: Mitch Moreland. .320 OBP in Arlington? Bust-nut Beltre did better than that!
Pujols. He’s Albert. Pujols.
Cardinals: Nick Punto. Nick. Punto. He makes David Eckstein look like Babe Ruth on steroids.
Rangers: Ian Kinsler. Good ol’ Kinsey has the misfortune of being good, not great, at everything.
Luckily Punto sucks at everything.
Cardinals: Ryan Theriot. We’re putting Ryan The Riot here even though La Russa might start Jim Edmonds here at some point. La Russa loves his match ups and gritty “play the right way” types. Shockingly, the right way seems to also be the not great at baseball way. Ah well.
Rangers: Elvis Andrus. No bat, great D, terrific speed.
Battle of the nicknames! Sure Elvis gets points for his classic approach, but Ryan The Riot has Zack Snyder all over it. Imagine a ramping Theriot fielding a routine ground ball. AWESOME!
Cardinals: David Freese. Freese is great when he plays; guess what he does not do a lot? PLAY! He’s got solid pop and is a Son of Saint Louis himself. That increases his average by 20 points mathematically (but only if he plays in STL).
Rangers: Adrian Beltre. We’ve covered the horrifically painful, always funny, possibly traumatic testicle incident. But did you know he refuses to let teammates touch his head? Weird! Also amazing defensively and solid bat.
Beltre’s quirks aside, the man can mash and makes enough contact to be a threat. Plus he’s good enough to make the Rangers move Michael Young to utility guy.
Rangers: Michael Young.
We included Young because he seems like a nice guy….
Cardinals: MOLINA NUMERO 3! Which Molina? Does it matter? He’s slow and has a cannon and his OBP is around 300. Wait… this one can hit? Hm…
Rangers: Mike Napoli. Napoli is legally changing his name to “spitting on the dead horse-suck it Angels-enjoy Vernon Wells.” After being traded for the worst contract in MLB history, Napoli turned in a 30 HR performance for Texas. But can he call a good game?
Going with Molina. His amazing defense and ability to wear slimming outfits makes him the most valuable Molina.
We at Stats prefer to separate each outfield position as its own, but we have a word limit.
Cardinals: Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday, John Jay / Allan Craig. Thank goodness there are four of them! If Tony couldn’t mix and match his face would turn into shingles! Berkman and Holliday had typically great, though unexpected for Lance, seasons; the decider could be underrated young un’s, Colbay Rasmus replacing Jay and Craig.
Rangers: Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy. Bombers. All of them. The three can hit like the best of them. But their defense can be suspect at times.
Both groups can mash. Only question mark is Big Puma’s defense. Also, Berkman is known as Fat Elvis. Will he go head to head with the Rangers’ nimble Elvis? Exciting!
Cardinals: Chris Carpenter, Edwin Jackson, Jaime Garcia. Not as much mixing and matching as La Russa would like. He told Carpenter he is on for Game 1, but rumor has it he told the others as well and is using this as some sort of Lord of the Flies bonding / murder exercise that Tony so fetishes.
Rangers: CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Scott Feldman: Feldman’s the wild card as he will likely relieve all of these guys after three innings and pitch remarkably better than them as he did in the ALCS. They said no one could pitch in Arlington, well GM Jon Daniels has assembled a group of cast offs and former relievers to bring Tejas to the Dance two years running.
Do you want Carpenter throwing heat at you while holding Jackson’s eyeballs and smelling of intestines? No you don’t.
A four-four tie? That does not help. We’ll find out more when we stream the games on our laptops. But here it goes: Texas in 6. STL pitchers step up for one or two gems, but Texas’ overwhelming offense brilliant relievers send STL into free agency without a trophy.