As the World Series moves to a National League ballpark, the loss of the designated hitter means no Mike Napoli, as the Red Sox will lose one of their hottest hitters. Napoli has two homers and five RBIs to go with his .304 average over his last six postseason games, but he'll make way for David Ortiz to put on his glove and make the start at first base.
"Being an American League team, we're going to miss a huge middle-of-the-lineup bat [Saturday night]," said Red Sox righty Jake Peavy, who will be making his first World Series start. "Our team was built with the DH in it, and it's unfortunate that that's got to happen."
Ortiz played six games at first base during the regular season without making an error.
Daniel Nava is making his first postseason start since Game 4 of the AL Championship Series. Nava hit .303 during the regular season but was benched in favor of Jonny Gomes for much of the Red Sox's playoff run. Manager John Farrell likes Nava's defensive prowess in a bigger left field at Busch Stadium.
"Obviously I'm excited," Nava said. "You want to get out there. You want to help the team win."
Rookie Xander Bogaerts is batting sixth, the highest he's hit in the order this postseason. Stephen Drew, 4-for-42 during the playoffs, gets the nod at shortstop.
The Cardinals are, of course, built as an NL club, but they'll still feel some pain of the NL rules as Allen Craig is forced to the bench. The Cards don't want to push Craig, who played in Games 1 and 2 of the World Series after sitting out with a foot injury since Sept. 4, into defensive duties and risk the chance of further injury.
"As far as being able to throw him out there defensively, it's a process," said manager Mike Matheny. "And he took some more ground balls. He feels good and made a stride forward today. That may end up happening, but right now the timing, we just can't do it yet, as far as a start goes. But not to say we can't insert him into the game defensively later on.
"We have his bat off the bench, we have the ability to bring him in if we need to. But we'll just see how the next couple of days go."
Matt Adams, who is tied for second on the team with 12 postseason hits, gets the nod at first base.
Pete Kozma made several defensive blunders in Game 1 and was benched in Game 2, but he's back in the Cardinals' lineup playing shortstop for Game 3. Kozma and backup Daniel Descalso haven't found momentum with the bat this postseason, each hitting below .200.
Carlos Beltran is again in the lineup after making an early exit from Game 1 following a home run-robbing catch and collision with the right-field wall that left him with bruised ribs. Hindered, Beltran still went 2-for-4 in Game 2.
1. Matt Carpenter (2B) 2. Beltran (RF) 3. Matt Holliday (LF) 4. Adams (1B) 5. Yadier Molina (C) 6. David Freese (3B) 7. Jon Jay (CF) 8. Kozma (SS) 9. Joe Kelly (P)