8:07 PM ET, October 24, 2013
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
St. Louis: Wacha (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Boston: Lackey (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
St. Louis Cardinals Michael Wacha and Boston Red Sox’s John Lackey have taken much different paths to the Fenway Park mound for tonight’s Game 2 of the World Series. However, YouWager experts believe the intensity of the moment isn’t lost on either of them.
Wacha may not have had the chance if it hadn’t been for beloved superstar Albert Pujols bolting for the Los Angeles Angels following the team’s championship in 2011.
St. Louis, who used their compensation draft pick to select Wacha, couldn’t be happier with how he’s handled the postseason pressure — and the fanfare that’s come along with his success.
Wacha (3-0, 0.43 ERA) has a 0.30 ERA while winning his last four starts dating back to his final outing of the regular MLB season, when he was one out away from a no-hitter versus the Washington Nationals. The rookie took a no-hitter into the eighth of a 2-1 Game 4 victory versus the Pittsburgh Pirated with the Cards close to elimination in the Division Series and tossed 6 2/3 innings of a 1-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the NL championship series.
The right-hander then blanked the Dodgers through seven frames of a 9-0 win that clinched the pennant in Game 6.
Lackey (2-0, 3.00) has also been trying to block out distractions. However, his reasons are quite different. The 355 year-old has been often criticized during his four years with the Red Sox after signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract as a free agent following the 2009 campaign.
The right-hander posted a 4.40 ERA in 2010 and a career-worst 6.41 mark in 2012 missing the entire MLB season due to Tommy John surgery. Lackey went 10-13 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 starts this season, but he’s coming off possibly his best outing after striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings of a 1-0 victory against the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the ALCS.
Lackey, who has never faced St. Louis, will be taking the mound in the World Series for the first time since earning a 4-1 victory in Game 7 versus the San Francisco Giants as a rookie in 2002 while pitching for the Los Angeles Angels. He’s 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA in his last five postseason outings.
The Texas native will look to help Boston win their 10th straight World Series contest after they earned an 8-1 win in Game 1 last night. As online sports betting fans might recall, their streak began when they swept St. Louis in the 2004 Fall Classic.