Doug Vaughn: Cards win in 5: If there’s anyone who can neutralize Clayton Kershaw, it’s Adam Wainwright. Kershaw may be the undisputed “best pitcher in baseball”, but Wainwright was actually better down the stretch. Wainwright was 5-0 in September and the National League pitcher of the month. If Wainwright can beat Kershaw in the opener in L.A. the Cardinals will have a major advantage in this series. Even if the Dodgers win game one, the rest of the Cardinals starting rotation is still superior to the Dodgers. Lance Lynn, John Lackey and Shelby Miller are all capable of shutting down the Dodgers’ hitters. The Dodgers middle relief is average at best. If the Cards can get to L.A.’s bullpen by the sixth or seventh inning they should be able to produce enough runs to knock off the Dodgers and win the series in an upset. Prediction: Cards in five games.
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Maurice Drummond: Cards win in 4: I’m going with the Cardinals in 4. There’s an awful lot of hype about Clayton Kershaw, and I certainly understand he’s been dominate for the last two seasons. However, the Cards always seem to hit the talented lefty very well. Adam Wainwright will rise to the occasion and beat Kershaw in a 2-1 game in the series opener. Matt Holliday has also had a couple of days to get his strength back, after coming down with flu-like symptoms in Arizona. The key will be John Lackey in Game 3. Even though he hasn’t been spectacular, Lackey will display his postseason experience. Cards take the series 3-1.
Brian Feldman: Dodgers win in 5: The Dodgers will win in 5. I’m sure everyone reading this will presume to hate me but sometimes the better team wins. The Cardinals have had a nice year and done a lot but – compared to their recent postseason teams – this roster just isn’t as talented. Scoring runs is a major challenge and as good as the starting rotation is it may not be able to match up with what the Dodgers can throw. Especially when you have to face the best pitcher on the planet potentially twice. Sometimes the better team just wins.
BaseballStL's JJ Bailey: Cards win in 5: I really wanted to say 4, but the St. Louis offense hasn't shown the muscle to step on gas when needed. Matheny said Wednesday the bats are different every night and against a rotation like the one the Dodgers have, that makes a drama-free victory unlikely. I think the Cardinals split in LA to start, and lose a heart-breaker at home to split in St. Louis. The victory comes in California, and the Birds meet the Nats in the NLCS (bonus prediction).
Boldest prediction: Cards win Game 1 against Kershaw, and Daniel Descalso is the hero of one of the games in LA.
BaseballStL's Elizabeth Eisele: Cards win in 5: While the first game between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw stands as the most exciting game, I think the series comes down to the starts by John Lackey and Shelby Miller against possible Dodger starters Dan Haren and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Ryu is coming off a season where he was sidelined by two injuries and Haren has had a mediocre season at 13-11 and a negative WAR. If the Redbirds can force either starter out early, they have the edge over the Dodgers' bullpen. And if the Cardinals and Dodgers are able to split at both Dodgers Stadium and Busch, I give the edge to Wainwright over Kershaw in Game 5.