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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Other Side

We have a Wild Card underdog and sentimental favorite that can't match the storied history or the win total of the triple-digit top seed. But the underdogs has a winning record against their bitter rivals, and a pair of ace starters stronger than anything the opposition can claim. On paper the division champion looks better, and they have history on their side.

Yankees v. Red Sox? Nope, it's the other League Championship, the NLCS, featuring the Cardinals and Astros.

Houston's got some bats, with the old warhorses Biggio and Bagwell joined by Carlos Beltran, Jeff Kent, and young stud Lance Berkman. But they can't quite match the Cardinals, with Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, Walker, and Renteria in the offense department. St. Louis also has the deeper bullpen, as well as more and better options for #3 and, especially, #4 starter.

Is Oswalt and Clemens enough?

I say no. Perhaps if the Astros had dispatched Atlanta more swifty and had been able to reset their rotation, I'd give them more of a chance. I don't think Houston has a good fourth option, and I think they're going to go to a the well with their pair of aces one too many times. With their pitching depth and hitting clout, I think the Cards take this series.

Cardinals in 6.


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