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Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton in a matchup of MVP sluggers. Nelson Cruz and David Freese becoming bigger names with each home run swing. Pitching staffs full of shaky starters and shutdown relievers.
Plus a Rally Squirrel and the Claw.
The Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, with a lot of symmetry, are all set to get acquainted in the World Series.
Leave it to ol' Arthur Rhodes to make the introductions. The 41-year-old lefty specialist began the year with Texas, wound up in St. Louis and is likely to get a ring either way.
Besides, it takes someone who's been around a bit to remember the last time these teams played.
It was 2004, in a three-game set in Texas. Even in this era of interleague play, that's the only time the Cardinals and Rangers have met when it meant something. According to STATS LLC, that matches the fewest games between a pair of opponents in the majors, tying Mets-White Sox.
Game 1 is Wednesday night in St. Louis, with aces Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals and C.J. Wilson set to start. The opening odds see Texas as a small favorite.
"The Rangers are scary. They're a scary team," said Freese, the NLCS MVP. "You look at that lineup, you look at that staff. It's going to be a battle."
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