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Scoring first in the postseason is important. No series proved that more than the 2013 NLDS between the Pirates and the Cardinals. The team that scored first won each game.
In all but one game, the winning team scored by the third inning. Grabbing the momentum early can be enough to carry a team through the rest of the game.
St. Louis can't afford to fall behind against Los Angeles. With Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the mound, falling behind could be devastating. Both of those pitchers have won a Cy Young award in their careers,and they have the ability to shut teams down.
Los Angeles won the season series 4-3, and the team that scored first won five of those games. In five of the games, the winning team scored five runs or fewer. The losing team averaged only two runs per game. When a team scored first, its pitching shut its opponent down.
Runs were at a premium in this series, so grabbing the early lead is huge.
Matt Carpenter hit .318, Carlos Beltran hit .296 and Matt Holliday hit .300. Those numbers make the Cardinals dangerous right from the start.
Check out how the Cardinals ranked among all teams in scoring per inning:
Los Angeles ranked ahead of St. Louis in the second, in the ninth and in extras. The Cardinals were one of the best in baseball in scoring early, so it will be one of the keys for them to beat the Dodgers.
This series will feature the top two rotations, in terms of ERA, in all of baseball. The Dodgers finished well above the Cardinals, but St. Louis has a formidable rotation. That just makes scoring first even more important.