Unquestionably one of the biggest betting upsets in professional sport, the title winning St. Louis Cardinals of 2011 provides us with a fascinating topic to cover for the next installment in our biggest betting underdogs series.
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Heading into the MLB season at 1000-1 to win, they certainly weren’t fancied for glory in the 2011 season. This assessment looked reasonably apt when the Cardinals lost six of their first eight games and also when they were 10.5 wins short of a playoff spot with 32 games to go.
The fact star man Adam Wainwright was injured prior to the campaign beginning and the likes of Albert Pujols, Nick Punto, Matt Holiday, Eduardo Sanchez and Bryan Augenstein all endured stints on the sidelines made their unlikely achievement all the more impressive.
Facing huge adversity heading into the playoff run in with so many integral players missing, they rose to the challenge by remarkably winning 23 of their final 32 regular season clashes.
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Their first step towards glory was them beating the Philadelphia Phillies in the Division series. Comfortably brushing aside the Phillies in five matches they then ousted the Milwaukee Brewers in six games to win the League Series.
This then set up a captivating World Series clash with the Texas Rangers, who were desperate to triumph having lost the World Series in 2010. Rated as underdogs ahead of the series, the Cardinals won the first match before losing the second.
The third resulted in a pulsating win, with Pujols inspiring a smashing 16-7 win to propel them to a 2-1 series lead. Things would take a turn for the Cardinals, however, as the Rangers recovered admirably by winning the next two.
Pinnacle then summed up their amazing comeback in game 6, stating: “Game six saw St. Louis pull off one of the greatest single-game comeback wins in World Series history, winning 10–9 in 11 innings after twice being one strike away from elimination.”
“The Cardinals set two records in their Game six win. The first team to come back twice from deficits in both the 9th and 10th innings, and the first team to score in the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th innings.”
Going on to win the deciding Game 7 in front of their home fans 6-2, this capped off their tremendous crusade, which saw them become the first Wildcard team since 2004 to win the World Series.
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A truly unforgettable season that was filled with twists and turns, this Cardinals team who refused to give up, rightfully cemented their place in history during that exceptional season.