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NLDS, Nationals vs. Cardinals: How they match up

A look at the National League division series between Washington and St. Louis.

October 06, 2012|By Jim Peltz

Game 1: Sunday, Noon, TBS

Washington (LHP Gio Gonzalez 21-8, 2.89) at St. Louis (RHP Adam Wainwright 14-13, 3.94)

Game 2: Monday, 1:30 p.m., TBS

Washington (RHP Jordan Zimmerman 12-8, 2.94) at St. Louis (LHP Jaime Garcia 7-7, 3.92)

Game 3: Wednesday, TBA, TBS or MBLN

St. Louis (RHP Chris Carpenter 0-2, 3.71) at Washington (RHP Edwin Jackson 10-11, 4.03)

Game 4*: Thursday, TBA, TBS or MLBN

St. Louis (RHP Kyle Lohse 16-3, 2.86) at Washington (LHP Ross Detwiler 10-8, 3.40)

Game 5*: Friday, TBA, TBS or MLBN

St. Louis (TBA) at Washington (TBA)

*-if necessary / All times PDT

Projected Lineup

Pos; Washington; Avg.; HR; RBI

RF; Jayson Werth; .300; 5; 31

CF; Bryce Harper; .270; 22; 59

3B; Ryan Zimmerman; .282; 25; 95

1B; Adam LaRoche; .271; 33; 100

SS; Ian Desmond; .292 25; 73

2B; Danny Espinosa; .247; 17; 56

LF; Mike Morse; .291; 18; 62

C; Kurt Suzuki; .267; 5; 25

Projected Lineup

Pos; St. Louis; Avg.; HR; RBI

CF; Jon Jay; .305; 4; 40

RF; Carlos Beltran; .269; 32; 97

LF; Matt Holliday; .295; 27; 102

1B; Allen Craig; .307; 22; 92

C; Yadier Molina; .315; 22; 76

3B; David Freese; .293; 20; 79

2B; Daniel Descalso; .227; 4; 26

SS; Pete Kozma; .333; 2; 14

Keys to the series

Judging by the teams' last series of the regular season, Sept. 28-30, the Nationals have their work cut out. The Cardinals won two of the three games — and outscored the Nationals 26-12 — in Washington. Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday and Allen Craig lead the Cardinals' formidable lineup, with perhaps the league's best catcher in Yadier Molina and best closer in Jason Motte, who has 42 saves. Their improbable World Series win last year also gives them an edge dealing with playoff pressure. But Washington had baseball's best record for a reason, namely excellent pitching led by 21-game winner Gio Gonzalez and sufficient run production — fifth in the league — led by Adam LaRoche and Ryan Zimmerman.

Pick: Cardinals in four.

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