We’re two games into the NLCS, and it is clear that the St. Louis Cardinals now have a huge advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s not a guarantee that they have locked it up by any stretch of the imagination, but it is clear that this is a series that doesn’t necessarily hang perfectly in the balance any longer. Don’t miss our analysis of the up to date NLCS odds and what each team needs to do to get to the World Series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers (Odds To Win 2013 National League Championship: 3.35 to 1 @ SportBet Sportsbook) probably never imagined the idea of losing both of the first two games of this series. Of course, they probably never figured that they were going to score two runs in two games either. LHP Clayton Kershaw and RHP Zack Greinke both pitched well in the first two games, but they are now both in a heck of a lot of trouble. Neither is guaranteed a spot on the mound again this season, and either LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu or RHP Ricky Nolasco have to win in these next two games just to get the ball back to the aces (unless Greinke pitches on three days rest). It’s the bats that really have us concerned, though. LF Carl Crawford and 2B Mark Ellis are doing a nice job hitting the ball at the top of the order, but the rest of this lineup has flat out stunk. 3B Juan Uribe has the one and only hit with runners in scoring position, and there aren’t a heck of a lot of hits with runners on base at all in this series either. That’s what is really going to have to change, because the pitching really isn’t getting any better than it was in St. Louis to start this series. There’s trouble in Tinseltown at this point, and losing this series at home would really draw the ire of all of the fans that were expecting it to essentially be Manifest Destiny to win the World Series.
Alas, here come the St. Louis Cardinals (NL Championship Odds: 1 to 4.60 @ SportBet Sportsbook). We’re all going to learn at some point that we can literally never count this team out of the equation in any series, especially with the way that it finds ways to get hits when it really needs it. The Cardinals have done just that time and time again, including in the 13th inning of Game 1. They have been phenomenal on the mound, and they couldn’t even expect that out of RHP Joe Kelly and RHP Michael Wacha. It’s the back of the rotation that has really picked this team up, as that is what kept the Cards in it against the Pittsburgh Pirates and what might get them to win it against the Dodgers. We’re a bit concerned over the fact that this is now three out of four games where the offense has been terrible, but it’s tough to complain when the last four games have all been won. The Cardinals are just figuring out how to manufacture runs and manufacture wins. That’s how this team has won 11 World Series titles in its history, and it might be how it wins World Series #12 this year in 2013.
National League Pennant Odds @ SportBet Sportsbook (as of 10/13/13):
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Los Angeles Dodgers Win NL Pennant +335
St. Louis Cardinals Win NL Pennant -460
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