World Series 2013 Preview

The 2013 MLB World Series gets underway in the early hours of Thursday morning, U.K. time.

Fenway Park will be a cauldron of noise as the hometown Boston Red Sox take to the field looking to win Game One of the best-of-seven series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

American World Series guides will inform you that this is a series between two of the most ‘storied franchises’ in sports. It’s a phrase you don’t here much in Britain and when it’s used, normally by well-meaning Americans that have bought up an iconic British team, it tends to set teeth on edge like scraping nails down a blackboard.

Replace the phrase with the word ‘historic’ and you’ll get a better understanding of what is meant.  They are classic teams with over a century of wonderful players, great successes and heart-breaking losses to call on as part of their heritage. Boston and St. Louis are true baseball cities; the Red Sox and Cardinals are team names that resonate through the ages. They both won World Series in the first quarter of the Twentieth century and have both won the ‘Fall Classic’ twice in the last ten years.

Quite simply, you cannot picture MLB history without thinking of these two teams.

They have met in the World Series three times before. They served up seven-game classics in 1946 and 1967 with the Cardinals narrowly edging them both. Their most recent meeting in 2004 was an altogether different affair with the Red Sox brushing the ‘Red Birds’ to one side with a 4-0 series sweep. The latter story was all about Boston claiming their first World Series in 86 years, becoming the first team to turn around a 3-0 series deficit into a 4-3 series win – against their greatest rivals the New York Yankees – along the way.

The Red Sox won a second World Series in four years with another 4-0 sweep in 2007, this time against the Colorado Rockies, one year after the Cardinals had taken the title with a 4-1 series win against the Detroit Tigers. St. Louis followed this with another title in 2011 in one of the great World Series of recent times against the Texas Rangers (miraculously recovering from what seemed a certain losing position in Game Six to win the series 4-3).

There isn’t really an underdog in this series for a neutral to latch onto.  Instead, the hope is simply that we have an exciting series going six or the full seven games.

Here is the schedule

U.S. Eastern Time UK Time
Gm 1 St. Louis @ Boston Wed 23 Oct 8:07 PM Thu 24 Oct 01:07 AM
Gm 2 St. Louis @ Boston Thu 24 Oct 8:07 PM Fri 25 Oct 01:07 AM
Gm 3 Boston @ St. Louis Sat 26 Oct 8:07 PM Sun 27 Oct 01:07 AM
Gm 4 Boston @ St. Louis Sun 27 Oct 8:15 PM Mon 28 Oct 00:15 AM
Gm 5* Boston @ St. Louis Mon 28 Oct 8:07 PM Tues 29 Oct 00:07 AM
Gm 6* St. Louis @ Boston Wed 30 Oct 8:07 PM Thurs 31 Oct 00:07 AM
Gm 7* St. Louis @ Boston Thu 31 Oct 8:07 PM Fri 1 Nov 00:07 AM

* = if necessary

As has been the case for many years, all of the games will be played at night during prime time in the U.S. Consequently they are all in the early hours of the morning for us in the U.K.

The main thing to note is that whilst we move out of Summer Time back to GMT in the early hours of Sunday 27 October, most parts of the U.S. don’t switch from their Daylight Time until a week later.  That means the time difference will be reduced by one hour for that week, affecting the start time for us from Game Four onwards even though all of the games start at roughly the same time from the perspective in the U.S. (aside from Game Four starting eight minutes later than the rest).

It’s also worth stating that the start times listed on MLB.com (normally 7:30 ET) include all of the pre-game hoopla, whilst the times listed above are when the first pitch should be.

All of the games will be available to watch live on BT Sport, with repeats at more sleep-friendly times on the ESPN channel. BBC 5 Live Sports Extra will once again be broadcasting the games live on digital radio, whilst online coverage is available at MLB.com with an MLB.TV subscription

It’s rare in the modern postseason era for the World Series to end up being between the two teams that won the most regular season games in the two leagues, but the Cardinals and Red Sox have bucked that trend this year. It should be a great series.

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