The Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals will face off in the 2013 World Series beginning Wednesday night at Fenway Park. Here's a preview of the Fall Classic:

How They Got Here: The National League champion St. Louis Cardinals edged the Pittsburgh Pirates in the division series round and then breezed past the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS. The Cardinals will be appearing in their fourth World Series in the past 10 years (2004, 2006 and 2011).

The American League champion Boston Red Sox knocked off the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS and topped the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. Boston is appearing in its third World Series in the past 10 years (2004 and 2007).

Pitching Match-Ups: Game 1 - Cardinals Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (15-8, 3.75 ERA); Game 2 - Michael Wacha (4-1, 2.78 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (12-1, 1.74 ERA); Game 3 - Joe Kelly (10-5, 2.69 ERA) vs. John Lackey (10-13, 3.52 ERA); Game 4 - TBA

The Cardinals Will Win If… their bullpen can close out games. Boston came back to win two ALCS contests by virtue of late grand slams hit off the Tigers' shaky bullpen. If  Cardinals' starters like Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha continue their dominant postseason against the free-swinging Red Sox hitters like David Ortiz, Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino, the bullpen needs to finish the job, especially in cozy Fenway Park.

The Red Sox Will Win If… their pitchers can keep the Cardinals' hitters from their patented rallies with runners in scoring position. St. Louis' hitting approach is reminiscent of the Yankees' teams circa 1996-2001. While the Cards have power with Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, the batting order is most effective when Matt Carpenter, Yadier Molina, David Freese and the newly-activated Allen Craig lengthen at-bats and string together hits. Boston starters Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and John Lackey must keep their pitch counts manageable so as not to expose the Sox iffy middle relief corps.

2013 World Series Schedule
(all games on Fox TV)

Game 1: St. Louis at Boston; Wednesday, Oct. 23, at 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 2: St. Louis at Boston; Thursday, Oct 24: 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 3: Boston at St. Louis; Saturday, Oct. 26: 8:07 p.m. ET
Game 4: Boston at St. Louis; Sunday, Oct. 27: 8:15 p.m. ET
*Game 5: Boston at St. Louis; Monday, Oct. 28: 8:07 p.m. ET
*Game 6: St. Louis at Boston; Wednesday, Oct. 30, 8:07 p.m. ET
*Game 7: St. Louis at Boston; Thursday, Oct. 31, 8:07 p.m. ET

* — if necessary

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