|World Series Position-by-Position Breakdown|
|The nice thing about this matchup is that I was able to cut-and-paste half the blurbs from last year's breakdown of the Rangers and Giants. No, I'm kidding. Just a bit less than half.|
The Rangers are the first AL team to win consecutive pennants since the Yankees won four straight from 1998-2001, and the first non-Yankees team to do it since the 1992-93 Blue Jays. If you're chasing omens, both of those teams won the World Series in their second trip. Then again, they also both won in their first try, something the Rangers couldn't do last year, losing in five games to the Giants.
This year promises to be much different. Whereas a year ago both Series teams leaned on their rotations, this year, the Rangers and Cardinals have gone heavy on their bullpens. The Cardinals offense seems to present a much stiffer challenge than the Giants projected to last October. Here's how the two squads look on the eve of the Fall Classic. (NOTE: Statistics are for the full regular season, even for players who spent time with more than one team.)