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Sports

October 22, 2013

World Series matchups: Sox in 7

(Continued)

Edge: Even

___

Shortstop:

Cardinals: Pete Kozma

A light-hitting glove man, Kozma has a knack for feisty at-bats in October. But his true value is on defense, where he really shines. He'd better, because Kozma isn't much of a threat at the plate. Daniel Descalso also sees playing time at shortstop.

Red Sox: Stephen Drew

The brother of two big leaguers (J.D. and Tim) from a baseball family, this Drew has plenty of talent himself. After hitting .253 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs in his first season with Boston, he slumped to 3 for 35 (.086) in the AL playoffs but kept playing superb defense.

Edge: Red Sox

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Third Base:

Cardinals: David Freese

A hometown favorite in St. Louis, Freese was the NLCS and World Series MVP when the Cardinals won it all two years ago. Coming off a mediocre regular season, he's hitting .189 with four RBIs this October. Still, he remains a threat. Descalso is often a late-inning sub for defense.

Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts

A premier prospect, Bogaerts was called up in August and hit .250 in 44 at-bats over 18 games. But late in the ALCS, he replaced slumping Will Middlebrooks in the starting lineup and it's easy to see why. The 21-year-old rookie from Aruba shows a sharp eye and pop at the plate, with poise and patience beyond his years. Can he keep it up on the World Series stage?

Edge: Cardinals

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Catcher:

Cardinals: Yadier Molina

Baseball's best defensive catcher has turned into quite a hitter, too. Molina batted .319 with 44 doubles and 80 RBIs this season, not to mention his gifted handling of St. Louis' young pitching staff. No wonder he's a top MVP candidate. Possessing a rocket arm, Molina threw out 19 of 45 attempted base-stealers this year. The Red Sox like to run, so that could be an intriguing matchup.

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