World Series Game 3 Preview

Big Papi will start at first tonight as Boston will be without a DH.
Big Papi will start at first tonight as Boston will be without a DH.

Red Sox at Cradinals
Start time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Series: Tied at one game each

 Jake Peavy of the Red Sox against Joe Kelly for the home Cardinals.

Kelly, the 25-year-old right-hander was 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA in the regular season. As a starter, though, he was far better, going 9-3 with a 2.28 ERA in 15 starts. Surprisingly, Kelly was actually much worse at home (3.29 ERA) than on the road (2.07). He was excellent after the All-Star break, too, going 9-2 with a 1.91 ERA.

Peavy on the other hand went 12-5 with a 4.17 ERA this season for the White Sox and Red Sox. He was mostly better after the trade to Boston, but only marginally so.

On the road this season, Peavy was bad. There’s really no sugarcoating it. He had a 5.27 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 14 regular season road starts. He wasn’t bad in Tampa Bay for his ALDS start, but he returned to Bad Jake on the road in the ALCS against the Tigers, coughing up seven runs on five hits and three walks in just three innings of work.

The Boston Red Sox are even in the World Series thanks in large part to the Nos. 4-5 lineup combination of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli. When the St. Louis Cardinals host the Red Sox in Game 3 on Saturday, one of those two will have to sit on the bench. The Red Sox lose the designated hitter in the National League park and alternated between Napoli and Ortiz at first base during interleague play in the regular season.

Ortiz homered in each of the first two games and Napoli provided the key hit – a three-run double – in Boston’s 8-1 victory in Game 1. Big Papi’s two-run blast in Game 2 accounted for the only runs the Red Sox managed in a 4-2 loss, during which some questions popped up about their bullpen. Craig Breslow allowed a pair of inherited runners to score and committed an error during the three-run seventh inning while the St. Louis bullpen, headlined by rookies Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal, dominated. Peavy put together a strong start in the clinching game of the American League Division Series at Tampa Bay but was lit up for seven runs on five hits and three walks in three innings at Detroit in the ALCS. The 32-year-old is 0-3 with a 10.31 ERA in four career postseason starts. Peavy owns a history against the Cardinals from when he was in the National League and is 1-3 with a 2.08 ERA in four career starts at St. Louis.

Kelly surrendered four earned runs in five innings at Los Angeles in the NLCS to suffer his lone postseason setback. The 25-year-old features a power sinker but does not work deep into games, topping out at six innings and 95 pitches in three postseason starts. Kelly posted worse numbers at home than on the road in the regular season, going 5-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 18 games – eight starts – in St. Louis.