It's hard to feel shortchanged by this year's NLCS, because the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals have arguably the two deepest, most talented rosters in the league. These two franchises have been competing against each other since the 19th century, and the previous time the Dodgers made the playoffs, in the 2009 NL Division Series, it was they who ended the Cardinals' season in a series that will long be remembered for Matt Holliday's flubbed catch.
This promises to be a lengthy, hard-fought series for the right to advance to the World Series. Here's a look at the key matchups and under-the-radar players.
Cardinals' X factor: Michael Wacha
In Wacha's final start of the regular season, he came within one out of a no-hitter against the Nationals. In Game 4 of the NLDS against the Pirates, he took another no-hitter into the eighth inning. He's also all of 22 years old with 10 starts under his belt, so there's more than a little potential for volatility here in both directions.