Texas avoided its first back-to-back loss since Aug. 25 with a 2-1 victory over St. Louis Thursday night. The Rangers, who trailed 1-0 in the seventh after another Allen Craig pinch-hit RBI single, rallied to score two runs in the ninth to even the series at one.
So far, the under has hit in each of the first two games and the favorite is 2-0. Combined, the Rangers and Cardinals have scored eight runs, which is the lowest two-game total in the World Series since 1950.
GAME 3 PREVIEW
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS @ TEXAS RANGERS (SERIES TIED 1-1)
Despite a lack of run production, Texas came up big in its Game 2 win over St. Louis. Now, with the series tied, Matt Harrison and Kyle Lohse will look to give their respective teams a critical 2-1 advantage.
Harrison, who enters after eight days of rest, is 1-0 with a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings pitched this postseason. In his last outing, he gave up two runs in five innings to pick up a no-decision in the Rangers’ 7-3 win over the Tigers in Game 4 of the ALCS. During the regular season, Harrison was 8-5 with a 3.80 ERA at home and in his last 10 starts, Texas is 9-1 overall.
His opponent, Lohse, has been anything but perfect in the postseason. He is 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in 9.2 innings pitched. In Lohse’s last start, eight days ago, he went 4.1 innings and gave up three runs in a loss to Milwaukee in Game 4 of the NLCS. However, he should be able to turn things around in just his third postseason start. During the regular season, Lohse was 8-3 with a 3.13 ERA in road outings.
So far, runs have come at a premium in the World Series, which is likely the result of hitters having less experience against the opposing pitchers. Only four Cardinals have faced Harrison and they are just 4-for-15 with a .267 average and have yet to produce an RBI. Meanwhile, the Rangers are a bit more familiar with Lohse. Eight players have faced him before and they are a combined 18-for-78. Michael Young has had the most success, hitting .233 with three home runs in 30 at-bats.
Texas is undefeated in its last five playoff games as a favorite and is 8-0 in Harrison’s last eight home starts as a favorite. However, the Rangers have struggled in their last five home games against an interleague opponent, winning only once. St. Louis has rebounded nicely with Lohse on the mound following a loss, as they are 5-1 in his last six starts. The Cardinals are 12-2 in their last 14 games following a loss, but are just 2-9 in Lohse’s last 11 starts against a team with a winning record.
Pick: Texas Rangers.