This is the matchup that was best for baseball and its fans.
We are in for a veritable treat for this season’s NLCS. The St Louis Cardinals will take on the surging Los Angeles Dodgers, with the winner off to the Fall Classic.
Both teams come in red hot after making their presence felt in the NLDS. The Cards waged a battle to the end versus a pesky and very talented Pittsburgh Pirates in 5 grueling games. The Dodgers dispatched of the Atlanta Braves quicker than most (except myself) had predicted, doing so in 4 dominating games.
The two teams are quite evenly match–what may transpire over the course of the Series may be a mix of intangibles and bullpen–welcome to October.
For the Cards their pitching talent will live and die off the arm of Adam Wainwright. The Dodgers take the edge though, with such aces to select from like Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu. That’s not to brush off the Cards, but when push comes to shove the pitching edge clearly resides with LA.
Both offenses aren’t devoid of long ball hitters and clutch guys by no stretch, so it’s hard to decide who has a clear cut edge. With Kemp being out for the Dodgers and Andre Eithier being a big question mark as to what will be expected of him it’s best to hand this edge over to the Cards by way of experience.
So what ultimately will be the deciding factor in what should be a long series? Will it be the strengths of managers–Mike Matheny for the Cards and Don Mattingly for the Dodgers? Or better yet will Yasiel Puig again play savior for the Dodgers and steal the Series becoming the most valuable player? All this is to be determined, but as for me I’m going to pick…
Prediction: Cardinals win 6. Experience, timely hitting and an all hands on deck approach to their pitching sees them heading back to the World Series.