Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Actual Result: San Francisco Giants over St. Louis Cardinals
Heading into the NLCS, the ultimate victor appeared to be a toss-up. The San Francisco Giants had played well in the NLDS, but so had the St. Louis Cardinals. Relatively evenly matched, the NLCS was a series that surely wouldn’t disappoint.
And it didn’t.
After taking three of the opening four games of the NLCS, the Cardinals went cold, and the Giants took advantage. San Francisco won Game 5 and Game 6 to even the series at 3-3.
Riding a two-game win streak, the Giants propelled themselves to a 5-0 Game 7 victory to advance to the World Series—another well-played, hard-fought series win by San Francisco.
In my scenario, however, the Cardinals lose the NL Wild Card Game and don’t even play in the NLDS or the NLCS. Instead, I have the Giants matched up against the Washington Nationals, who were knocked out in the NLDS of the real postseason.
Both the Nationals and Giants are built around pitching. The starting rotations and bullpens of each team are dominant and tough to score against.
Going along with that point, both offenses are also quite potent. Without a doubt in my mind, these are the top two teams in the National League heading into 2013.
But given a best-of-seven series, someone has to come out on top. And that team, I believe, would be the Nationals.
Washington’s offense is a little better and certainly more versatile than San Francisco's. The NLCS would most likely go six or seven games, but I still think Washington overcomes the true World Champions.
Current Result: Washington Nationals over San Francisco Giants