Oct 18, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran (middle) celebrates in the clubhouse with his teammates after game six of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
John Perrotto, Special for USA TODAY Sports and KSDK Sports
(KSDK Sports) -- One of the biggest complaints traditionalists have had ever since the postseason was expanded from four teams to eight teams in 1995 - and to 10 last year - is that there are too many possibilities for upsets, which often prevent the best teams from playing in the World Series.
That won't be the case this year.
The Red Sox wrapped up the American League pennant Saturday night with a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series at Fenway Park as Shane Victorino's seventh-inning grand slam rallied Boston from a 2-1 deficit.
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Now the Red Sox will meet the St. Louis Cardinals, who also won the National League Championship Series in six games over the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the World Series. Game 1 is set for Wednesday night at Fenway.
The Red Sox and Cardinals were both 97-65 in the regular season, tying for the best record in the major leagues. Thus, the two best teams will indeed be going head-to-head.
"It should be exciting," Red Sox left-handed reliever Craig Breslow said. "They have a great team and we have a great team, so it should be a great series. I don't know if the World Series can be any closer than this series was against the Tigers, but I imagine it probably will."
The Game 1 pitching matchup will likely feature the Red Sox's Jon Lester against the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright, though Boston manager John Farrell wasn't ready to go over scouting reports Saturday night.
"We're probably going to take 12 or 24 hours to let this one sink in," Farrell said. "The Cardinals have a fantastic team and a lot of power arms that will walk to that mound. By the time Wednesday rolls around, we know we'll be prepared."
The Red Sox led the major leagues in runs scored in the regular season with an average of 5.27 a game, and the Cardinals were third at 4.83. St. Louis was fifth in runs allowed with 3.68 a game, and Boston was 13th with a 4.05 average.
The teams last met in interleague play in 2008 with the Cardinals winning two games in a three-game series at Fenway. Just four players who appeared in those games are still with the teams - St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina along with Lester, second baseman Dustin Pedroia and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury for Boston.
The Cardinals and Red Sox have met three other times in the World Series. St. Louis won in seven games in both 1946 and 1967 while Boston swept in four games in 2004 for its first world championship in 86 years.