Sports: Defending World Series Champs Play Host To The Red-Hot Cardinals In Winner-Take-All Wild Card Match Up
by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor
Everything is on the line tonight in Los Angeles, as the hometown Dodgers face hated postseason rival the St. Louis Cardinals in a battle of the aces.
Both the Cardinals and the Dodgers are coming off impressive seasons, despite both narrowly losing their division. Being a Wild Card game, the loser tonight will go home, and the winner will go on to face the best team in baseball, the San Francisco Giants, in the National League Division Series (NLDS).
The first pitch is scheduled to take place at 5:10 P.M. PT at Dodger Stadium. Both teams will be rolling out their best pitchers, with the Dodgers starting trade deadline acquisition Max Scherzer against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright. However, the Dodgers will be without power-hitting first baseman and MVP candidate Max Muncy, who injured his elbow in a collision at first base on Sunday.
As of right now, the Dodgers are -219 favorites according to Caesar Sportsbook. Although the Blue Crew have to play in the Wild Card game, the Dodgers had the second best record in the MLB at 106-56, second only to their divisional rivals, the Giants.
Despite the Dodgers having 16 more wins than their opponent, the Cardinals, who looked hopeless throughout much of July and August, they are not to be taken lightly. The Cardinals posted a 23-10 record in the last month of the season, winning a franchise record 17 games in a row at one point. Therefore, with both aces on the mound, and two offenses that have proven that they can score runs, the match up promises to be one not to miss.
Although they are the underdogs, the Cardinals have a talent-filled roster that consists of a mix of veterans and young players. Future Hall-of-Famers, like catcher Yadier Molina and pitcher Adam Wainwright (who will be on the bump tonight for the Cardinals), have stepped up and led this group to the playoffs.
The Dodgers are also a force to be reckoned with. In addition to holding the second-best record in the majors, many of the team’s players got hot at the plate toward the end of the year, which is a scary prospect to face for any opposing pitcher. Furthermore, they have a stacked and decorated pitching staff, including Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler and MLB wins leader Julio Urias.
Many of the Dodgers’ big names do become free-agents after this year, such as heavy contributors Corey Seager, Chris Taylor, Max Scherzer, Kenley Jansen and a few more. With many of them coming off of good seasons, there is a little extra desire to win another World Series, as some of these players will not be back due to how much money they will want and deserve.