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The LA Dodgers have been storied this season. They went from 4th place to 1st, during the span of just about a month. They had two of the top-5 rookies, in Yasiel Puig and Hyun Jin Ryu. They had four very good pitchers, in Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, and Nolasco. The bullpen was even more dominant, led by Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, Brian Wilson, and Ronald Belisario. They have four excellent veteran fielders- Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, and Andre Ethier- who combine for 13 All-Star selections. The two Ellis “brothers,” (who aren’t ACTUALLY related) Mark and A.J., also give very solid contributions to the team. They also gained the veteran leadership of Michael Young towards the end of the season. Let’s not forget to mention that they had this spectacular season without Matt Kemp, who I believe is a top-5 player in the league when healthy.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Dodgers walked right through the mighty Braves, defeating them 3 games to 1. After that display of domination, everybody expected to see the Dodgers easily defeat the Cardinals, and move on to the World Series. However, it’s been a completely different story for this Dodgers team…
The Dodgers are down 3-2, with their lives hanging on the line. It’s surprising that they’re down, especially because the team hasn’t been playing poorly at all. In their three losses, the Dodgers have let up 8 runs combined! Towards the beginning of the series, the Dodgers offense was coming up short, scoring two runs combined in the first two games (both losses). But now, they’ve come back to life…
With Hanley back from rib injury, Andre Ethier playing again, and Yasiel Puig playing like the ROY-candidate that he is, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Dodgers win the next two games, and move on to the World Series. Adrian Gonzalez has also been extraordinary, playing the clutch role for LA in the NLCS.
Not to mention, they have Clayton Kershaw, my choice for NL Cy Young, pitching in Game 6, and Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 7.
Knowing this, it’s very easy to believe that the Dodgers will come back and win the series… Unfortunately, for you Dodgers fans and betters, there is much more to the story…
Kershaw will face the dominant rookie, Michael Wacha. He has had two 1-hitters in the last month, and could be the hottest pitcher in the league coming into this game. He neutralized the Dodgers in Game 2, allowing no runs on just 5 hits.
Ryu will likely face Adam Wainwright, one of the best playoff pitchers of the last 10 years. You may or may not remember that he absolutely neutralized Carlos Beltran (who we’ll talk more about later), who was a Met at the time and is now one of Wainwright’s teammates, who would become the last out of the game. Wainwright also had a great season, totaling 19 wins with just 9 losses, and amounting to a 2.94 ERA.
Not to mention, the Cards have a prolific offense. Carlos Beltran could possibly be the best playoff performer of the 21st century, in any sport. He’s managed to make countless clutch plays, each time he makes the playoffs. He won Game 1 of the NLCS for the Cardinals, with both his offense and defense.
They also have Yadier Molina, who I still believe is the best catcher in the league. At third base, the Cards have David Freese, the 2011 World Series MVP. Not to mention, they have the great Matt Holliday in left field.
The great young-guns for the Cardinals are an even greater contribution to their team. They have Matt Carpenter, a viable choice for this year’s MVP award, with the addition of Jon Jay, Allen Craig, and Mat Adams.
Honestly, even with all of this, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Dodgers came back and won the series. I see Wacha having his first “bad” outing in a LONG time, and Wainwright playing well, but being outpitched by Ryu, just like he was in Game 3.
The St. Louis Cardinals SHOULD make the World Series after the early lead they took in this series, but keep an eye out for the prolific Los Angeles Dodgers