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posted: 10/10/2013 9:34 PM

NLCS preview

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About the Cardinals: Once again, the Cardinals proved against the Pirates in the NLDS that it's dangerous to count them out, no matter the situation. St. Louis has homefield advantage, and that could provide the difference in a seven-game series. The only problem facing the Cardinals, it seems, is that they're not able to set their rotation because they needed Adam Wainwright to start the NLCS finale against the Pirates. The Cardinals might miss first baseman Allen Craig (foot injury), but they have legit MVP candidates in Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter. And Carlos Beltran may be the best postseason hitter of this era.

About the Dodgers: Even though Clayton Kershaw isn't starting Game 1, it's hardly a bad thing to have Zack Grenke going in the opener followed by Kershaw. That formidable 1-2 punch could prove devastating in the end. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, when healthy, was a beast all season as his 1.040 OPS suggested. Ramirez was 8-for-16 in the opening round against the Braves. Former White Sox infielder Juan Uribe had the big 2-run homer that sent the Dodgers into the NLCS. If outfielder Andre Ehier's ankle is OK, he could play a bigger role in the series. Yasiel Puig's adds an element of excitement to what shapes up to be a classic series.

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Bruce Miles' prediction: Dodgers in seven

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