Series preview: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
Here's a preview of the final NLDS Series, this one a Midwest showdown between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. Let's take a look. St. Louis Cardinals
Season record: 100-62 Home record: 55-26 Away record: 45-36 Key players: Michael Wacha (SP), Matt Carpenter (3B), Jhonny Peralta (SS), Jason Heyward (RF) Key injuries: Carlos Martinez (SP), Yadier Molina (C)
Projected starters: John Lackey, Jaime Garcia, Wacha, Lance Lynn, Lackey
Here's what you need to know: The Cardinals are a team that seems to be engineered for October baseball year after year. They just do not stop. While the team has suffered countless injuries this season - including recent ones to huge players like their ace Martinez and captain Molina - you can never count them out. Rookie Steven Piscotty seems to get big hit after big hit and the Cards are just never out of it. They also have probably the best home crowd in the league and are tough to beat in St. Louis. Chicago Cubs
Season record: 97-65 Home record: 49-32 Away record: 48-33 Key players: Jake Arrieta (SP), Kyle Schwarber (RF), Kris Bryant (3B), Anthony Rizzo (1B) Key injuries: None
Projected starters: John Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Arrieta, Lester, Arrieta
Here's what you need to know: Is this finally the year for the Cubs? Back to the Future II projected them to finally win it all in 2015 and it looks within the realm of possibility. After beating the Pirates in a heated Wild Card game, the Cubs have more momentum than any team in the league. Arrieta is on an absolutely wild run and should win NL Cy Young - he has been the best player in baseball over the past three months. Rookies Schwarber and Bryant are hitting the snot out of the ball. Watch out for these Cubbies. My projection:
While the Cardinals were the best team in the league all year, in the playoffs it's all about pitching and momentum. The Cubs have the league's best pitcher and loads of momentum. While the Cardinals may be a grittier team with more experience, I think the Cubs are just better at this point.
I'm taking the Cubs in 5 as an upset. What about you?
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