8:37 PM ET, October 11, 2013
Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Los Angeles: Greinke (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
St. Louis: Kelly (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Even when the St. Louis Cardinals have plenty to be happy about they get no rest. Tonight the Cards will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that doesn’t have home-field advantage in the NL championship series.
However, the Dodgers got a few extra days to savor early postseason success. Zack Greinke was getting ready to go in Game 5, then went on stand-by, and now the right-hander guards against feeling too good in the opener Friday night.
YouWager experts are unsure which side will benefit, the team on a roll or the team coming off a break. Starter Joe Kelly, who flourished as a replacement pitcher with the Cardinals and gets the call for Game 1, was elevated to the fifth starting spot and then waited almost two weeks before actually getting on the mound.
As a youth, Kelly was a budding skateboard star with a sponsor. Like other St. Louis youngsters, he’s seemed oblivious to the pressure.
The staff aces won’t go until later in the best-of-seven series, with the Los Angeles” Clayton Kershaw set for Game 2 and the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright ready for Game 3.
Rookie Michael Wacha, who has flirted with a no-hitter his last two starts, goes in Game 2 for the Cardinals. Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly stated he’d probably announce the rest of the starting assignments on game day.
The series matches a largely homegrown team looking for its second World Series appearance in three years against one that’s been among the biggest spenders trying to get there for the first time in a quarter-century. Los Angeles spent well over $200 million to put together their team.
The Cards led the National League with 97 victories, including a major league-high 33 by rookie pitchers. St Louis’ payroll is at about $119 million outlay, a large chunk going to players like Chris Carpenter, Jason Motte and Rafael Furcal who didn’t make it to opening day and another, Jaime Garcia, who was sidelined for the year in mid-May.