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Season Series: Cards lead 6-3
Phillies: SP - 2.87 ERA (first NL), RP - 3.53 ERA (seventh)
Cards: SP - 3.81 ERA (seventh), RP - 3.77 ERA (12th)
The Cardinals had to fight their way through the Phillies to stay alive in the NL Wild Card race, taking the season series from them rather handily.
The playoffs are a whole new ballgame, though. I don't see Chris Carpenter, Edwin Jackson and Jaime Garcia matching up well with the Phillies' trio in October.
Phillies: 698 R (seventh), 149 HR (eighth), .252 BA (ninth)
Cards: 741 R (first), 159 HR (sixth), .272 BA (first)
The Cards scored the most runs in the National League on the strength of a very potent and very efficient offensive attack. Albert Pujols has been on a tear since the All-Star break, and Lance Berkman has enjoyed a career resurgence this season.
Phillies pitcher's don't give up a lot of hits, so the Cardinals wouldn't be able to base-hit them to death. However, depending on which Phillies offense shows up in the postseason, the Cardinals may not have to score many runs to steal a couple games.
Phillies: Charlie Manuel; 27-19 in five playoff appearances; one World Series championship
Cards: Tony LaRussa; 59-51 in 13 playoff appearance; two World Series championships
Phillies Series X-Factor:
Phillies pitcher's have allowed only 291 hits while runners are in scoring position, third fewest in all of baseball and a key in stopping the Cardinals' attack.
Cards Series X-Factor:
On the flip side, the Cardinals lead all of baseball with a .286 BA with runners in scoring position. They will need to capitalize in these situations to have a chance against the Phillies.
The Cards have been the hottest team in baseball during the month of September, and it wouldn't at all be shocking to see them take down the Phillies, especially seeing as the Cardinals have had their number this season.
In the end, Phillies pitcher's have been consistently dominant this season while Cardinals pitcher's have been consistently inconsistent, to say the least. The Phillies will be able to get the job done when it counts.
Winner: Phillies in four games