By David Vassegh
1. CARL CRAWFORD: Crawford had an outstanding NLDS hitting .353 with 3 HR'S (2 in Game 4) and 5 RBI. That gave him a 1.303 OPS for the series. Crawford also feasted on Cardinals right handed pitching in 7 regular season games hitting .481 with 4 Doubles and having a 1.163 OPS. Busch Stadium didn't effect him either getting 9 hits in 17 AB's in St. Louis. Crawford will be needed to take some of the offensive load off Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez.
2. BULLPEN: The Cardinals and Dodgers bullpen statistically are evenly matched. St. Louis Bullpen ERA: 3.45 (8th in NL) Dodgers Bullpen ERA 3.49 (9th in NL)
The Dodger Bullpen saved 46 games, the Cards 44 games. The Dodgers will have to match pitch for pitch with St. Louis in close games. Trevor Rosenthal of the Cards fires in 100mph and struck out 108 hitters doing so. Bullpens are always big factors in the playoffs, but I think it might be a deciding factor in which team advances to the World Series.
3. GAME 3 AND 4 STARTERS: Kershaw and Greinke can't pitch every game in the series. Ricky Nolasco and Hyun Jin Ryu will have to pitch well at Dodger Stadium for the Dodgers to be able to put Kershaw and/or Greinke in position to close out the series. Both pitchers having something to prove. Ryu needs to show everyone that Game 3 of the NLDS was an aberration and Nolasco has to prove to his over reacting critics that his last 3 starts were just a hiccup.