Jim Bowden and Dan Szymborski set the table for the Cardinals-Dodgers National League Division Series. Bowden lays out which team has the edge among starting pitchers and in the various facets of the game, and then adds his series prediction. Szymborski follows up with the most relevant stats leading into the series and the ZiPS game-by-game projections.
Who has the edge?
Game 1 starters: Clayton Kershaw vs. Adam Wainwright: Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball and is expected to win the Cy Young Award and possibly the NL MVP Award this fall, while Wainwright is expected to finish in the top three in the Cy Young voting for the fourth time in his career. Kershaw prides himself on early-count outs, mixing all of his pitches while changing eye levels and using both sides of the plate. His fastball is mostly in the 93-94 mph range, and he has a nasty slider and knee-buckling curveball. Wainwright's fastball is a tick slower than Kershaw's, but he has a good cutter and one of the game's best curveballs. Perhaps because he missed the first month of the season, he appears much stronger right now than he did when he faced the Cardinals in the NLCS last year. Edge: