First off: Congrats to the Kansas City Royals on making the postseason for the first time since Don Denkinger gifted your club the World Series in 1985. Half of the players on the team weren't alive the last time the Royals made the playoffs. So, congrats, and good luck against Jon Lester in that one game playoff. As a fan of a team that saw Jon Lester in the World Series twice last season, you're going to need all the luck you can get, believe me.
If the Cardinals are able to close out the division tonight (hopefully) or tomorrow (slightly more terrifying) or Monday (please, please, no) they face the prospect of getting Clayton Kershaw, the certain Cy Young winner and possible MVP, twice in a week's time in the division series.
What, if any, strategy should be employed to give the Cardinals the best chance at winning that series?
Getting a lay of the land:
- The Dodgers have secured home field advantage, so Games 1, 2, and 5 will be played in Dodger Stadium.
- L.A. has a .544 winning percentage at home this season (43-36) and a .605 winning percentage on the road (49-32).
- St. Louis has a .481 winning percentage on the road (38-41, with two games yet to play) and a .630 winning percentage in the friendly confines of Busch Stadium (51-30).
- The division series starts on Friday, October 3rd as currently scheduled, so all pitchers would be on full rest to start the series regardless of who pitches for the Cardinals on Sunday.