Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders
Cardinals. Dodgers. The rematch of the NLCS from 2013 between the most talented team and the most championship experienced team. The Cardinals have been there and done it all when it comes to the playoffs. The Dodgers are Major League Baseball’s most talented team and they are led by the best pitcher in baseball: Clayton Kershaw. The Cardinals have arguably the best counter to Clayton Kershaw in the National League and that’s Adam Wainwright with Yadier Molina behind the plate.
The Dodgers are loaded with talent all over the field. They’re so loaded in the outfield that they almost traded Matt Kemp. Good thing they didn’t because he became the National League Player of the Month in September. He comes into October as arguably the hottest hitter and baseball. Followed by guys like Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, and Dee Gordon, the Dodgers have a great mix of power and speed on offense that posted the second most runs in the NL this year. The Dodgers power though comes from Clayton Kershaw. He’s a walking no-hitter that can give you a quality start in his sleep. Zack Greinke is the number 2 in Los Angeles and he’s posted an excellent 17-8 record with a 2.78 ERA. He could be the ace of many teams in baseball but he’s only the number 2 here. Hyun-Jin Ryu is the Dodgers’ game 3 started despite the shoulder injury he suffered late in the season. He put up a 14-7 record with a 3.38 ERA. As good as the Nationals are 1-4 is how good the Dodgers are 1-3 rotation wise.
The Cardinals come into this season not being as good of a team as they were last year. They struggle on the offensive in part because of Allen Craig, who they traded at the deadline, and the rest of the Cardinals didn’t hit the same way they did with runners in scoring position like they did in 2013. One thing to remember about the Cardinals is maybe the most valuable player in baseball is Yadier Molina and he’s back behind the dish after missing about 3 months of the season due to injury. In his starts before and after Molina’s injury, Adam Wainwright was 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA and 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA. A legitimate case could be made that Adam Wainwright would be the Cy Young frontrunner in the NL had Molina not gone down. Wainwright is the best counter to Clayton Kershaw in the National League and gives the Cardinals a chance in Kershaw’s starts. Lance Lynn, John Lackey, and Shelby Miller round out the postseason rotation in St. Louis. Lackey spent half the season in Boston but has won 2 World Series’ in his career and just brings more postseason experience to the table. The Cardinals will rely on their pitching to win and hope guys like Matt Holiday and Matt Adams can carry the load on offense.
This is, for me, the most anticipated series of the Division Series round and maybe the best series we see in the playoffs. Kershaw vs. Wainwright. Talent vs. Pedigree. Big market vs. Small Market. We’ll see it all in this series and no doubt this series could go 5 games with a Kershaw-Waino matchup to decide it. The winner could go either way, but I have to go with Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. There’s talent everywhere and I think they want revenge from last years LCS. Dodgers win in 5.
Byron K. Dixon- Dodgers
Chris Moore- Dodgers
Demarus Dye- Cardinals
Darrien Coleman- Dodgers