With the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals locked in an all-out war for National League supremacy and a World Series berth, the 2012 NLCS has become one of the biggest topics in the sports world.
Even the most casual MLB fans can’t turn away from this entertaining series.
Each team has won a game so far, but neither of the squads have proved their supremacy yet; this year’s NLCS has seven games written all over it!
2012 NLCS Schedule (series tied 1-1)
|3||Wednesday, October 17||4 p.m.||FOX|
|4||Thursday, October 18||8 p.m.||FOX|
|5||Friday, October 19||8 p.m.||FOX|
|6||Sunday, October 21||4:30 p.m.||FOX|
|7||Monday, October 22||8 p.m.||FOX|
Stars to Watch
Carlos Beltran, OF, St. Louis Cardinals
Even in defeat, veteran outfielder Carlos Beltran continues to be the biggest part of the Cardinals' offensive successes this postseason. With a .414 batting average in the 2012 postseason, Beltran is the kind of player that snaps the Cardinals out of their long hitless stretches and keeps the team in every game they play.
If St. Louis wants to win themselves a chance at World Series glory, they will need their seasoned veteran to continue playing stellar in the field and at the plate. If Beltran struggles at all, the Cardinals will walk away with nothing.
Buster Posey, C, San Francisco Giants
If the San Francisco Giants don’t get their young star Buster Posey back on the right track in the batter’s box, the team will be in trouble. Despite stealing Game 2, the Giants need Posey hitting well for their long-term success, and a .185 batting average this postseason won’t cut it.
While the pitching of the Giants will always be their biggest strength, they need the timely hitting of their young star to be a legitimate threat for another World Series title; Posey better figure out his issues fast.
The Starting Pitchers
The main reason that both of these underrated teams made it to the NLCS in the first place was because of their starting pitching. With unparalleled skill and depth, these two teams can go all seven games of a series and get seven-plus innings out of each starter, no questions asked.
While the advantage on paper goes to the Giants with Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum, the play of unheralded Cardinals' stars like Kyle Lohse and Lance Lynn has complemented the duo of Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter perfectly.
As important as timely hitting will become, this series will be decided by which team’s starting pitching cracks first. St. Louis will have the advantage and win the series.
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