Playing Hardball With Dodgers / Cardinals

I wrote a NLDS series preview for The Hardball Times, which can be found here.  I picked the Dodgers to win in four games, for these reasons:

The Dodgers do have a lot of things in their favor, however.

  • The best record in the National League, at 95-67
  • The best run-differential in baseball, at +169 runs
  • The best ERA in baseball, at 3.41
  • The best bullpen ERA in baseball, at 3.14
  • The best OBP in the National League, at .346
  • Scored 50 more runs than the Cardinals
  • Allowed 29 fewer runs than the Cardinals
  • 12 walk-off wins on the season, second only to the Yankees
  • Home field advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs
  • The Cardinals have the worst OPS in baseball against left-handed pitching, hitting .233/.312/.362 against southpaws this season. I expect Wolf, Kershaw, Kuo, and Sherrill to pitch about half the innings this series, shutting down the Redbird offense and keeping the Dodgers in the game.

SB Nation has also teamed up with USA Today for the playoffs.  Each series has it's own blog with posts from each team's blogger from SB Nation.  The Dodgers/Cardinals NLDS blog can be found here.  In addition, if you happen to see a USA Today Sports Weekly in newsstands this week, be sure to flip to the Dodgers/Cardinals series section and read my reasons for why the Dodgers will and won't win.

**********

Tony LaRussa hasn't yet announced his lineup or roster for the NLDS, but it appears rookie pitchers Blake Hawksworth and Mitchell Boggs will be two of 12 pitchers on the squad.  The Dodgers battered Boggs in August, scoring five runs off 12 baserunners in four innings.  Haksworth pitched three scoreless innings of relief against the Dodgers in July in St. Louis for his first major league win.

Rosters are due at 10am this morning.

Baseball Reference Game One Preview

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