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Previewing Friday's National League Playoff Match-ups

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 10/2/2014 9:27:06 PM

It's officially October, which means the MLB playoffs are underway with the Wild Card elimination games already being played. The San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals were the two team's who won their respective play-in games, and now both of them will be in action at some point this coming Friday. All eight playoff teams are in action on Friday, but the NL games will be the ones previewed below.

San Francisco Giants @ Washington Nationals

Friday October 3, 2014 – 3:07 PM ET

The Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates handily on Wednesday night, but now they have a five-game series against the Washington Nationals in which they are likely to face ace Stephen Strasburg twice. The Nationals have yet to announce their Game 1 starter, but I'll assume it's Strasburg as the righty holds a 14-11 record and 3.14 ERA this season. Starting for the Giants on the mound will be veteran Jake Peavy, a pleasant surprise for the Giants considering his ERA dropped two full points down to 2.17 since he joined the team mid-season. Neither team's offense is dominant, but the Nationals have scored the 9 th most runs in the league this year and finally have a healthy lineup including Bryce Harper, Ian Desmond, and Jayson Werth.

Pick: Nationals

St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers

Friday October 3, 2014 – 6:37 PM ET

This first round match-up may prove to be the best of the playoffs as the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers are among the two most well-rounded squads in all of baseball. The Dodgers will of course be sending Clayton Kershaw to the mound for Game 1, but it will be far from a cakewalk as the Cardinals will send their ace, Adan Wainwright, to battle for that series leading victory. Although both Wainwright and Kershaw have an ERA below-3.00, Kershaw is on an entirely different level as his 1.77 ERA is the lowest the majors has seen since Pedro Martinez in 2000. Kershaw is the most dominant player in the game today, but Wainwright could quiet the Dodgers bats with ease like he did earlier in the year when he threw eight innings, allowing just one run, and striking out seven. This will be a game decided late, most likely, but the Dodgers hold the advantage in both the hitting and pitching categories, making them my sports betting pick of the game.

Pick: Dodgers

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