LOS ANGELES -- With a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 victory on Monday night in Game 4 of their National League Division Series against the Braves, the Dodgers punched their ticket to their third National League Championship Series in six years, and their first since 2009. Now the Dodgers need to wait to find out their opponent.
The Cardinals and Pirates are tied at two games apiece in their NLDS after Michael Wacha took a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Monday in a 2-1 St. Louis win at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Pirates and Cardinals return to St. Louis for a winner-take-all Game 5 on Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
Adam Wainwright will start for the Cardinals, while former UCLA Bruins pitcher and 2011 No. 1 overall draft pick Gerrit Cole gets the call for the Pirates. The winner will advance to play the Dodgers in a best-of-seven series beginning Friday.
If the Cardinals win on Wednesday night they would have home field advantage over the Dodgers, meaning Friday's Game 1 would be played in St. Louis. A win by the Pirates on Wednesday means the Dodgers will stay home for a week, and would host Pittsburgh on Friday and Saturday at Dodger Stadium for Games 1 and 2.
The Pirates (94-68) finished the regular season with a better record than Los Angeles (92-70), but as the wild card winner cannot have home field advantage over the division-winning Dodgers.
The NLCS will be played in a 2-3-2 format. During the regular season the Dodgers won four of seven games from the Cardinals, including taking three of four games in St. Louis. The Dodgers beat the Pirates in four of their six matchups, including a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium in April. The Dodgers have beaten the Pirates nine straight times in Los Angeles and are 17-2 in their last 19 meetings at Chavez Ravine.
The Dodgers have played the Pirates and Cardinals once each in the NLCS in their history. The Dodgers beat Pittsburgh in four games in the 1974 NLCS, which was then a best-of-five affair, and they lost to the Cardinals in six games in the 1985 NLCS.
The NLCS will be televised by TBS. On national radio, Dan Shulman and Orel Hershiser will call the games for ESPN Radio.
With the win on Monday night the Dodgers' rotation sets up ideally as planned, with Zack Greinke going in Game 1 followed by Clayton Kershaw on regular rest in Game 2.
Whether those first two games are in Los Angeles or St. Louis will be decided Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.