Although the Los Angeles Dodgers may have the most dominant pitcher in all of baseball in Clayton Kershaw, it is the St. Louis Cardinals who will benefit most from their starting rotation during the NLCS. The reason why I expect the Cardinals to get a big lift from their starters is because they have two of the hottest pitchers in the game right now. Not only does St. Louis have a certified ace in Adam Wainwright, but as of late, Michael Wacha has been unhittable.
Let’s first take a look at Wainwright. The seven-year veteran has been the Cardinals workhorse this season as he was the league leader in innings pitched recording 241.2 throughout the regular season. He was also tied with Jordan Zimmerman for most wins in the National League with 19. Wainwright has been Mr. Reliable for the Cards as he won two games in the Divisional Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates and is coming off of his third season with 19 or more wins in the past four years. St. Louis will be riding Wainwright to what they hope to be their second World Series in three years.
As I mentioned earlier, Wainwright is not the only stud on the Cardinals’ staff as Michael Wacha has been phenomenal as of late. The 22-year-old rookie has been nearly unhittable in his last two starts. After getting hit hard by the Colorado Rockies on September 19 (12 hits and four earned runs over 4.2 innings) Wacha has gotten his act together just in time for the postseason. He has allowed just one hit in each of his last two starts. Although Wacha is only a rookie, he appears to be the real deal this season as he is one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball right now.
Look for Adam Wainwright and Michael Wacha to anchor the Cardinals pitching staff throughout the remainder of the playoffs. Historically, hot pitchers have been crucial to a team’s postseason success, which is a good sign for St. Louis. If Wainwright and Wacha stay hot, I expect to see the Cardinals come up victorious against the Dodgers in the NLCS.
Jon Keller is a writer for rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jkell2005