A look at the National League wild-card game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers:
Schedule: Wednesday, at Los Angeles, 8:10 p.m. EDT (TBS).
Season Series: Dodgers won 4-3.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
Manager: Mike Shildt (fourth season).
Starting Pitcher: RHP Adam Wainwright (17-7, 3.05 ERA, 174 Ks).
Top Hitters: 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.294, 31 HRs, 99 RBIs), 3B Nolen Arenado (.255, 34, 105), LF Tyler O’Neill (.286, 34, 80, 15 SBs).
Top Relievers: RHP Alex Reyes (10-8, 3.24 ERA, 29/34 saves), RHP Giovanny Gallegos (6-5, 3.02, 14 saves).
October Glance: Game matches two of the most storied and successful National League franchises. … The Cardinals are in the playoffs for the third straight year. They lost in the first round to San Diego in 2020 after reaching the NL Championship Series the previous season. … The Cardinals were an afterthought a month ago, but a franchise-record 17-game winning streak allowed them to secure the second NL wild card with room to spare. It was the second-longest streak after Sept. 1 in major league history. The Cubs won 21 straight in 1935. … The Cardinals were 45-36 at home and on the road. … St. Louis was 26-19 in one-run games. … The 40-year-old Wainwright will be making his 16th postseason start and 29th appearance. He’s 4-5 with a 2.89 ERA in the playoffs, but lasted just 3 1/3 innings against the Padres in last year’s outing. Wainwright had 22 quality starts this season, fourth-most in the majors. … Goldschmidt hit .333 with 9 homers in September and October to lead the late-season charge. He finished fourth in the NL with 177 hits. … C Yadier Molina (right shoulder) and SS Edmundo Sosa (right wrist) had been nursing injuries over the past week, though both will be available against the Dodgers. … RHP Jack Flaherty has yet to pitch back-to-back days but should be available for the playoffs. He tore his left oblique in May and strained his right shoulder in August. … Arenado was the team’s prized offseason acquisition and did little to disappoint, driving in 105 runs to finish third in the NL. … The Cardinals have been aggressive on the bases with 89 steals, sixth-most in the majors. … St. Louis pitchers allowed just 152 home runs, trailing only the Giants (151) for best in the majors.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS
Manager: Dave Roberts (sixth season).
Starting Pitcher: RHP Max Scherzer (7-0, 1.98 ERA, 89 Ks with Dodgers; 8-4, 2.76, 147 Ks with Washington).
Top Hitters: 2B Trea Turner (.338, 9 HRs, 24 RBIs with Dodgers; .322, 18, 49 with Washington. Had MLB-leading 195 hits, 32 SBs, 319 total bases), SS Corey Seager (.306, 16, 57), LF AJ Pollock (.297, 21, 69).
Top Relievers: RHP Kenley Jansen (4-4, 2.22 ERA, 38/43 saves), RHP Blake Treinen (6-5, 1.99, 7 saves).
October Glance: The Dodgers are in the playoffs for the ninth straight year and are defending their first World Series championship since 1988. … They finished second to rival San Francisco by a game in the NL West in a race that went down to the last day of the regular season, snapping their streak of eight straight division titles. … Their record of 106-56 is the best of any defending World Series champion since 1969, when divisional play began. … They were an MLB-best 58-23 at home, ending the regular season on a franchise-record 15-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium. … LA was 48-33 on the road. … LHP Julio Urias became the first Dodgers pitcher to win 20 games since LHP Clayton Kershaw won 21 in 2014. … The Dodgers pulled off a blockbuster deal at the July 30 trade deadline, getting Scherzer and Turner from Washington for prospects. Scherzer is a strong candidate for the NL Cy Young Award and Turner has made a case for NL MVP after winning his first batting title. He takes a career-high 19-game hitting streak into the wild-card game. … Kershaw missed two months with left forearm inflammation and went back on the injured list last week for the same reason. … OF Cody Bellinger spent time on the IL and has been mired in a season-long slump, which has cost him his starting spot. The 2019 NL MVP is hitting .165 with 10 HRs and 36 RBIs. … 1B Albert Pujols could start against his old team after Max Muncy injured his left elbow on Sunday. Pujols has been a valuable and popular backup with the Dodgers after being cast aside by the Angels earlier this season. He won two World Series in St. Louis. … Scherzer is 4-6 in 13 career games against the Cardinals. He beat them most recently on Sept. 6, going eight innings in a 5-1 win with 13 strikeouts. … The Dodgers have lost to the Cardinals in their two most recent postseason matchups: a 2014 NLDS and the 2013 NLCS.
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