The Salem News sports staff makes its predictions for the World Series, which begins tonight in Boston:
PHIL STACEY: It’s hard to bet against the Cardinals, who are machine-like in their precision and don’t beat themselves. But how can you go against the local nine, who have time and time again proven to be the most resilient bunch of bearded wonders you’ve ever seen? Red Sox in 7.
MATT JENKINS: Aside from some very timely and long hits, Boston’s bats were silent for much of the American League Championship Series. It seems extremely unlikely that the Cardinals will be able to continue keeping them at bay. If we’re talking predictions, how’s this one? John Lackey collects the MVP after winning two games, including the series’ clincher. Red Sox in 6.
MATT WILLIAMS: Something about the 2-3-2 format of this Series scares me, because playing three crucial games in the middle of the series without either David Ortiz or Mike Napoli simply won’t be good for Boston. The Sox will win if their starting pitching reaches the 7th and 8th innings regularly, but that doesn’t seem like a sure thing. Boston wins a do-or-die Game 6 but then the National League makes it four straight world titles. Cardinals in 7
GIANNA ADDARIO: Though the Cardinals presumably have the edge in the bullpen, the nod at the dish goes to the Red Sox. Expect to see Daniel Nava back in the lineup, who hit .336 in the second half of the season. Still this is no easy series for the Sox, it should be a lengthy one. Jacoby Ellsbury earns MVP honors. Red Sox in 6.
DAN HARRISON: With the exception of John Lackey, Boston’s starting pitching dominates the St. Louis lineup as Clay Buchholz looks like he did early in the season. The Red Sox continue to get timely, clutch hitting and solid defense on the diamond. Xander Bogaerts shows he’s ready for the big stage and wins World Series MVP. Red Sox in 7.
ANDY SILVA: Throughout the season, this team has had echoes of the 2004 squad which ended our long championship drought. On paper, the Sox have the advantage in the rotation and at the plate, although Boston’s bats will have to be better than they were against Detroit. Hopefully the top of the lineup can get on, create havoc and set the table for Pedroia, Papi and the rest. At the end of the day this team’s chemistry, talent and gumption will win the day and bring another World Series trophy back home to Fenway. Red Sox in 6.