2012 MLB Playoffs: 5 Keys to St. Louis Cardinals Winning the NLCS

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2012 MLB Playoffs: 5 Keys to St. Louis Cardinals Winning the NLCS
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Matheny has the defending champs primed for another October run

On the heels of an emotional, gutty come-from-behind Game 5 division-series victory over the Washington Nationals, the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals find themselves back in the National League Championship Series.

Waiting for them are the 2010 World Series champions, the San Francisco Giants. On paper, this appears to be a pretty even matchup, with both teams filled with players from their respective title teams. The regular season bore that out, as the teams split their six games with three wins apiece. 

Ultimately, though, I have pinpointed five keys to this series for St. Louis to repeat as National League champions and defend its title in the Fall Classic. Here they are, starting with No. 5.

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