With the Wild Card games out of the way, let the Division Series begin.
The National League gets things started tonight, with the American League playing tomorrow.
NL Central opponents do battle in the first best-of-five match-up.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ St Louis Cardinals
- AJ Burnett (10-11, 3.30 ERA) vs Adam Wainwright (19-9, 2.94 ERA)
The pirates won their first playoff game in 21 years when they took down Cincinnati on Monday in their Wild Card match-up. Now they look to keep the the good feeling going against a playoff perennial that knows what it takes to win in October. That being said, it’s the first postseason series between the two clubs, so anything can happen.
It’s a good pitching match-up between 2 guys who have helped teams win in the postseason in the past.
The Pirates have used the long ball and a strong bullpen of late to get them into the playoffs. While against Pittsburgh this year, Wainwright went 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts, going seven innings each time out.
I see this being a close game, and a close series, but I think the Cardinals experience and home-field advantage wins out.
CARDINALS IN 4
In NLDS number 2, it’s East meets West for two division winners.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves
- Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) vs Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11ERA)
It wasn’t easy but the Dodgers took the west crown, while the Braves easily topped the East. LA made an amazing 2nd half push to take their division. They’re hot, young and don’t care what anyone thinks about them. The Braves got off to a fast start, and cruised into October in a down NL East.
Kershaw is probably going to win the Cy Young again, and his teammate Zach Grienke was just as dominant in the second half push. The Braves weren’t challenged all year for their spot in the postseason, and i think that will hurt them, while LA fought from a big deficit early to overtake Arizona.
I think the Dodgers starting pitching top to bottom is better, and their a much more versatile lineup.
DODGERS IN 4
Enjoy the game 1’s tonight, and stay tuned for my ALDS preview coming tomorrow.