When you can send out names like Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw a combined four times over a seven game series, chances are you are going to be difficult to beat. That is the assumption of many for the Los Angeles Dodgers going into the NLCS beginning on Friday against either the St. Louis Cardinals or Pittsburgh Pirates. It will not matter which team they face because either one will be extremely difficult to beat as well. They all are at this stage. The key for the Dodgers however will not be their pitching, it will be their offense.
Atlanta Braves fans didn’t get that nervous when Kershaw took the mound again at the beginning of game four of the NLDS. I guarantee you any honest Braves fan would tell you they were biting their fingernails or on the edge of their seat when Yasiel Puig slid safely into second base in the decisive eighth inning, popped up and slapped his hands together trying to get his dugout pumped up. Then of course Juan Uribe slammed the door shut on the NLDS with his huge clutch home run.
It didn’t matter how well Kershaw pitched because the Braves matched it and pulled ahead after he left the game. What did matter was the offense that after stumbling mightily through the month of September has finally reawaken at the perfect time. Whoever they face will be equally tough to beat because the Cardinals and Pirates are very similar teams. Both have just as good of pitching as the Dodgers do. The offense has to be able to hit the other guys’ aces for Kershaw and the boys to have a solid chance.