MLB NLCS Prieview: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

The Dodgers won the season series, but can the do it in the National League Championship Series? Photo: Yasiel Puig helped spark the Dodgers all season/AP

CHICAGO, October 11, 2013 — The Dodgers and Cardinals played seven times this year with the Dodgers winning the season series 4-3. The Cardinals will have home field advantage for the series, but the Dodgers won three of four in St Louis this year.

Lineup: The Dodgers scored 649 runs, good for seventh in the NL, and had a season slash line of .264/.326/.396, which was fourth best OPS in the NL. The highlights offensively have been Hanley Ramirez .345/..402/.638, Yasiel Puig .319/.391/.534 and Adrian Gonzalez .293/.342/.461. The Cardinals scored 783 runs, best in the NL by 95 runs, and had a season line of .269/.332/.401 and had the second best OPS in the NL. Leading the way offensively for St Louis are Matt Holiday .300/.389/.490, Matt Carpenter .318/.392/.481 and Yadier Molina .319/.359/.477.

SEE RELATED: Oakland A’s lose ALDS to the Detroit Tigers for second straight year

Edge: Cardinals 

Starting Pitching: The Dodger starters posted an ERA of 3.13, best in the NL, while striking out 841 batters with a 1.20 WHIP in 979 innings. The staff is led by Clayton Kershaw 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 8.85 K/9, Zach Greinke 2.63 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 7.50 K/9, and Hyun-Jin Ryu 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 7.22 K/9. The Cardinals starters posted an ERA of 3.42, second in the NL, while striking out 806, with a 1.25 WHIP. Adam Wainwright 2.94 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 8.16 K/9, Lance Lynn 3.97 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 8.84 K/9 and Shelby Miller 3.06 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 8.78 K/9 lead the staff.

Edge: Dodgers

Bullpen: The Dodgers pen posted a 3.49 ERA, ninth in the NL, with a 1.29 WHIP and 451 strikeouts. The top men out of the bullpen have been JP Howell 2.03 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 7.84 K/9, Paco Rodriguez 2.32 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 10.44 K/9 and closer Kenley Jansen 1.88 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 13.03 K/9. Paco Rodriguez, however, will not be on the NLCS roster after struggling recently. The Cardinals had a bullpen ERA of 3.45, eighth in the NL, 1.24 WHIP and 448 strikeouts. Leading the charge from the bullpen were Seth Maness 2.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 5.08 K/9, Trevor Rosenthal 2.63 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 12.90 K/9 and Edward Mujica 2.78 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 6.40 K/9.

SEE RELATED: Pittsburgh Pirates lose to the Cardinals, better luck next year

Edge: Push

Defense: The Dodgers meanwhile had a fielding percentage of .982, allowed a .612 stolen base success rate, had a 37.69 range factor and a zone rating of 5.987. The Cardinals posted a .988 fielding percentage, allowed an NL low .600 stolen base success rate, had a 37.59 range factor and a 6.019 zone rating.

Edge: Push

Manager: Don Mattingly is in his third year as managing in MLB, all with the Dodgers. Mattingly’s teams have posted a .536 winning percentage in his tenure. This will be Mattingly’s first playoff appearance. Mike Matheny is in his second year as a manager, both with the Cardinals. Matheny has a career .571 winning percentage. Last year Matheny guided the Cards to the NLCS.

Edge: Push

Intangibles: The Dodgers were able to finish off the Braves early and have been able to set their rotation lining up their two aces in Game 1 and Game 2 where as the Cardinals were pushed to the limit by the Pirates and will not be able to use Adam Wainwright until Game 3.

Edge: Dodgers

Prediction: Dodgers in 6

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Steve Adler

Steve Adler was born and raised in NH in a town called Westmoreland. He currently resides in Chicago, IL with his wife and daughter. He has worked in Commodities and Banking. Steve has been a sports columnist for The Washington Times Communities since July 2013.

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