The Los Angeles Dodgers are faced with an uphill fight when their hitters need to face Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright in games one and two of this series. The only chance L.A. has in any of these first two games it to attack the Cardinals weakness against left handed hitting.
The Dodgers will send Randy Wolf to the mound in game one and follow that up with Clayton Kershaw. Wolf went 11-7 and Kershaw who went 8-8, but it’s not so much about their records as it is the Cardinals average against lefties. St. Louis is 24th in all of baseball when it comes to batting averages against lefties. The acquisition of Matt Holliday has helped a bit as the Cardinals have hit .250 since he arrived at the trade deadline. Before that, they were barely hitting over .220.
Expect a low scoring series, especially in the first two games. The success of the Cardinals I think is going to lay squarely on the shoulder of Matt Holliday. The Dodgers will be very careful against Albert Pujols and it will be up to Holliday deliver. Since Holliday arrived, the Cardinals went 27-10 when Holliday drove in at least one run. When he failed to pick up an RBI, the Cardinals went 12-14. Also, the fact is the one player who does hit left handers better is Albert Pujols. His average was .338 against lefties, .324 vs. righties. Pujols also hits a home run once every 14 at-bats against lefties which is slightly lower than vs. righties.
The other lineup tweak to potentially look for is Skip Schumaker being moved to center field. Tony LaRussa wants to limit the number of lefties in the lineup and hinted he could start Skip in center ahead of Colby Rasmus and Rick Ankiel and put Julio Lugo at second base.