The Cardinals dispatched the Braves more quickly than I thought they would, but here comes trouble. The Mets were the matchup I feared the most for the Redbirds. New York’s lefties, Hampton, Leiter, Rusch, Cook and Franco, could be trouble for a Cardinal lineup that includes five lefthanded hitters. Ray Lankford and probably J.D. Drew will go to the bench which means the Cardinals will need a big series from Eric Davis, Shawon Dunston or Craig Paquette. Will Clark, Jim Edmonds and Fernando Vina have all had good years, but they are considerably weaker against left-handed pitching. I hope that doesn’t show in this series. It would be a big help if Fernando Tatis suddenly found his power stroke. The Cardinal lineup is better than the New York’s, although the Mets’ lefties make it closer. The Mets’ pitching is better, both starting and relieving. Defense is fairly even. If Cardinal pitchers rise to the post-season occasion, their offense will out-perform New York’s. My bet for surprise MVP is Eric Davis, who slaughtered left-handed pitching this year, and should get plenty of chances in this series. Cardinals in six, bring on the Yankees.