Cardinals vs Giants: Previewing the NLCS

Dilip Vishwanat - Getty Images

What's coming in the National League Championship Series? Get your beginners cheat sheet below.

Probable Pitchers

Game 1: Lance Lynn vs Madison Bumgarner

Game 2: Chris Carpenter vs Ryan Vogelsong

Game 3: Kyle Lohse vs Matt Cain/Tim Lincecum

Game 4: Adam Wainwright vs Matt Cain/Tim Lincecum

Cardinals' bullpen: Mitchell Boggs, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Jason Motte, Edward Mujica, Trevor Rosenthal, Marc Rzepcynski, Fernando Salas

Giants' bullpen: Jeremy Affeldt, Santiago Casilla, George Kontos, Javier Lopez, Jose Mijares, Guillermo Mota, Sergio Romo, Barry Zito

Game 1 Starting Lineups

Cardinals: Jay (CF), Beltran (RF), Holliday (LF), Craig (1B), Molina (C), Freese (3B), Descalso (2B), Kozma (SS), Lynn (P)

Giants: Pagan (CF), Scutaro (2B), Sandoval (3B), Posey (C), Pence (RF), Belt (1B), Blanco (LF), Crawford (SS), Bumgarner (P)

Cardinals Bench: Cruz (C), Carpenter (IF), Schumaker (IF), Chambers (OF), Robinson (OF)

Giants Bench: Sanchez (C), Arias (IF), Huff (IF), Theriot (IF), Nady (OF)

Notes

  • I suppose that the Giants could choose to go with Barry Zito to start game three or four instead of Cain or Lincecum, I'm just not sure why they'd do it. I'd be surprised if anyone other than the two guys I listed start games three and four for San Francisco
  • It seems like the Giants have an edge with their starters and the Cardinals with their lineup, but the St. Louis rotation has (in spite of the bafflingly solid contributions of Kyle Lohse) been battle tested and has come up with plenty of big performances already this fall. And the San Francisco lineup can be surprisingly potent, in spite of what looks to be a weaker 6 through 8.
  • If you want to cheer against former Twins, you have Lohse for the Cardinals and Mijares for the Giants. Neither player was particularly likable. Personally I'd like to see St. Louis get to the World Series, simply because of the tizzy it will throw sectors of the baseball world considering they didn't re-sign Albert Pujols while the team who did whiffed on the post-season, but I'm more than happy to see both Lohse and Mijares get hammered.
  • My prediction: Cardinals in seven.
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