National League Championship Series preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers

10/11/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

The National League Championship Series begins tonight, with the Dodgers and Cardinals battling for a chance to go to the World Series. Here's the schedule and probable starters, from what we know so far:
Game 1: Dodgers (Zack Greinke) at Cardinals (Joe Kelly), Friday Oct. 11, 8:30 p.m.
Game 2: Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) at Cardinals (Michael Wacha), Saturday Oct. 12, 4:00 p.m.
Game 3: Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) at Dodgers (TBD), Monday Oct. 14, 8:00 p.m.
Game 4: Cardinals (TBD) at Dodgers (TBD), Tuesday Oct. 15, 8:00 p.m.
Game 5 (if necessary): Cardinals (TBD) at Dodgers (TBD), Wednesday Oct. 16, 4:00 p.m.
Game 6 (if necessary): Dodgers (TBD) at Cardinals (TBD), Friday Oct. 18, 8:30 p.m.
Game 7 (if necessary): Dodgers (TBD) at Cardinals (TBD), Saturday Oct. 19, 8:30 p.m.
*All games will be televised on TBS*
October 7, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves in game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY SportsThe Dodgers have a decided edge in starting pitching, at least in the two matchups that are fully announced so far. It's likely that the Dodgers will start Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 3, which would theoretically give the Cardinals an edge in that game.

Both offenses are solid, with the Dodgers relying on guys like Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez. On the other side, the Cardinals have sluggers like catcher Yadier Molina and Carlos Beltran, one of the greatest postseason hitters of all time.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they'll still be without Allen Craig, their All-Star first baseman. Still, their overall pitching rotation should be a bit better than the Dodgers, who don't have a lot of dependable arms beyond Kershaw and Greinke. The Cardinals will have enough pitching that they'll be able to relegate Shelby Miller to the bullpen, despite his mastery this season as a starting pitcher.

I think the Dodgers will win at least one of the first two games in St. Louis (possibly both), and then 1 or 2 of the games back home in LA. When all is said and done, I believe the Dodgers' 1-2 punch of Kershaw and Greinke will be too much for the Cardinals to handle.

My prediction: Dodgers in 6.
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10/11/13   |   Scott   |   53885 respect

Looking forward to seeing how the Cardinals two young guns match up against the Dodgers 1-2 punch of Greinke and Kershaw.  I'd be ecstatic if they could find a way to win both games in St. Louis

10/11/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

This looks like it'll be a great series. It's too bad the prevailing narrative is Dodgers Money vs. Cardinals "Heart." It's so simplistically ridiculous.