NLCS Game 3 Preview: Hyun-Jin Ryu Stands A Good Chance Against Adam Wainwright
Cardinals fans and even some downtrodden Dodgers fans may disagree with me, and for good reason. After the Cards managed to defeat the Dodgers’ two-headed beast in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke despite fantastic performances from both, the 2-0 lead seems all that more impressive. With the ace of the St. Louis staff, Adam Wainwright, expected to pitch in Game 3 on Monday, it would not be unreasonable to expect the Boys in Blue to end up in a 3-0 hole. Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers’ Korean rookie, will have something to say about that.
One of the biggest advantages of having Ryu pitch in Game 3 is location. As the two teams are headed to Los Angeles for three games, Ryu automatically gets a boost. In his 30 starts this season, the lefty has pitched an even amount of road and home games. Ryu has been decent on the road, with a 3.69 ERA; however, at Chavez Ravine, the Korean boasts an impressive 2.32 ERA. Conversely, Wainwright has been worse on the road (3.36 ERA) than at home (2.53 ERA).
Further, Wainwright has struggled in both his career and this year against the Dodgers. Ryu has only had one career start against the Cardinals, but managed to pitch seven scoreless innings while giving up only five hits. That was even on the road! Meanwhile, Wainwright’s one visit from the Dodgers in 2013 ended in a loss after he pitched seven innings, giving up three earned runs.
I am not claiming that the Dodgers have this in the bag, not by any means. I am merely stating that Cardinals fans and Dodgers fans alike should certainly not pencil this one in as a St. Louis win. If Ryu does his job and the Dodger offense can finally come alive, we just may have a 2-1 series on our hands come Tuesday.
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