Two Hitters To Watch For In The NLCS


The NLCS begins tonight, and the Dodgers will play in their tenth NLCS since divisional play started in 1969. The Dodgers will play the Cardinals in the NLCS for just the second time ever. As the two clubs open the series tonight at Busch Stadium, let’s take a look at two hitters to watch for in this series.

Hitter to watch for the Dodgers

Carl Crawford

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Our formerly rusty left fielder, and lead-off bat has gotten red-hot in the playoffs. Crawford batted .353 in the NLDS against the Braves, with three home runs, and five runs driven in. But did you know, that Crawford is one of the best hitters on the club against the Cardinals. Yes, Crawford is batting .382 (21 for 55) with a home run against the Cardinals in his career, and is a career .452 (14 for 31) hitter at Busch Stadium. This season Crawman has made the Birds pay dearly. In 2013, Crawford is batting .481 (13 for 27) with a home run against the Cardinals, and hit .521 (9 for 17) in four games at Busch this year. Crawford has hit Cardinal pitching with authority throughout his career. Crawford is a .393 hitter against the current Cardinal pitching staff. He has a .433 OBP against Cardinal’s pitching. Here’s what Crawford has done against the entire Red Bird staff.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Adam Wainwright

7

7

2

0

0

0

2

0

1

.286

.286

.286

.571

Randy Choate

4

4

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

.000

Shelby Miller

4

3

3

2

0

0

0

1

0

1.000

1.000

1.667

2.667

Joe Kelly

3

3

2

1

0

0

0

0

0

.667

.667

1.000

1.667

Lance Lynn

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

.333

.333

.333

.667

Seth Maness

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

.333

.333

.667

1.000

Carlos Martinez

3

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

.667

.667

.667

1.333

John Axford

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

.000

Edward Mujica

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

.000

Kevin Siegrist

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1.000

Total

30

28

11

4

0

0

2

2

2

.393

.433

.536

.969

Hitter to watch for the Cardinals

Carlos Beltran

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The switch-hitting outfielder is on fire this postseason. Beltran just recently passed Babe Ruth on the all-time career postseason home run list. Beltran now has 16 home runs in the playoffs. Beltran has put up decent numbers against the Dodgers. Beltran has hit .270 (64 for 241) in his career against the Dodgers with 13 home runs, and 35 runs driven in. Despite that, the Dodger pitchers have kept Beltran at bay for the entire season. Dodger pitchers have limited Beltran to a .238 (5 for 21) with a home run, and a .733 OPS against. Beltran really shines in the postseason though. When the leaves fall Beltran finds his groove. Beltran has posted the following batting averages during the NLCS. Beltran batted .417 in the 2002 NLCS, .296 in the 2006 NLCS, and hit .300 in last season’s NLCS. Beltran has hit eight home runs in the NLCS, and has posted a 345/.453/.756 (49 for 142) line in 39 postseason games. Beltran has hit 16 home runs, and driven in 31 runs in his postseason career, with an OPS of over a 1.000. Beltran is hitting just .227 against Clayton Kershaw, and just .143 versus Zack Greinke. As you can see Beltran bats .340 against Nolasco. Beltran should never ever be allowed to face Nolasco ever again.

PA

AB

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

Ricky Nolasco

53

47

16

0

0

1

3

6

11

.340

.415

.404

.819

Clayton Kershaw

25

22

5

2

0

0

1

2

8

.227

.280

.318

.598

Chris Capuano

17

12

4

2

0

0

1

5

1

.333

.529

.500

1.029

Zack Greinke

10

7

1

1

0

0

1

2

2

.143

.333

.286

.619

Ronald Belisario

5

3

2

1

0

1

2

2

1

.667

.800

2.000

2.800

Kenley Jansen

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

.000

Hyun-jin Ryu

3

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

.000

Brian Wilson

3

3

1

1

0

0

0

0

2

.333

.333

.667

1.000

J.P. Howell

2

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

1.000

1.000

1.000

2.000

Paco Rodriguez

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.000

.000

.000

.000

Chris Withrow

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

.000

.000

.000

.000

Total

126

107

31

7

0

2

8

17

27

.290

.384

.411

.795

Even though the Dodgers have kept Beltran at bay throughout most of the 2013 season, that doesn’t mean that they should be pitching to him at all. He still hits .290 combined against the current Dodger pitchers, and is still one of the most dangerous hitters in Baseball. The Dodgers should not be pitching to him. Please do not pitch to Beltran, Donnie.

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Tags: Carl Crawford Carlos Beltran Clayton Kershaw Don Mattingly Los Angeles Dodgers Zack Greinke