After the St. Louis Cardinals ended the Atlanta Braves’ season in the National League Wild Card Game, two exciting matchups are set for the Division Series.
As the winner of the Wild Card Round, St. Louis now has to face the Washington Nationals, who were the top team in the NL this season. In the other NLDS, the Cincinnati Reds, as winners of the NL Central, will take on the NL West champions, the San Francisco Giants.
In Game 1 of the series between the Reds and the Giants, Cincinnati took the advantage with a 5-2 victory.
Here is a full schedule for each remaining game in both series, via ESPN.com, along with key each team's key player.
San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds
|2||9:37 p.m. ET||October 7||TBS||San Francisco|
|3||5:37 p.m. ET||October 9||TBS||Cincinnati|
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Washington Nationals
|1||3:07 p.m. ET||October 7||TBS||St. Louis|
|2||4:37 p.m. ET||October 8||TBS||St. Louis|
|3||TBD||October 10||TBS||Washington D.C.|
|4*||TBD||October 11||TBS||Washington D.C.|
|5*||TBD||October 12||TBS||Washington D.C.|
Giants Key Player: Buster Posey
Posey had an MVP-caliber season and led the National League in batting average.
He is a fantastic hitter and the Giants' most capable hitter. He will need to continue to hit the ball extremely well in the postseason to help his team make a deep postseason run.
San Francisco's offense revolves around Posey, and its success will only come with a fine postseason performance from the young catcher.
Reds Key Player: Brandon Phillips
Phillips had an incredible first game to start his playoff campaign.
He went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and turned in an excellent defensive performance. Few players in baseball can impact a game in as many different ways as Phillips.
If he can continue playing at a high level both at the plate and at second base, the Reds will be extremely difficult to beat.
Cardinals Key Player: Carlos Beltran
St. Louis finished second in the National League in runs scored and has several players who can hit the ball. But no Cardinal is as talented at the plate as Beltran.
The center fielder hit 32 home runs this season and is a fantastic power hitter. He will need to continue hitting the long ball in the NLDS.
If he can bat as well as he did in the regular season, the talented Washington pitching staff will struggle against the Cardinals lineup.
Washington key Player: Gio Gonzalez
With Stephen Strasburg shut down for the remainder of the season, the Nationals need Gonzalez to step up and show that he is the ace of a championship-caliber pitching staff.
Judging by his regular season performances, Gonzalez is entirely capable of doing just this. He had a 21-8 record this season in 32 starts and finished with a 2.89 ERA.
He threw 207 strikeouts compared to just 76 walks, and he has the ability to dominate every time he is on the mound.
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