Depending on exactly how old you are you may or may not have some very difficult feelings about the matchup tonight in the National League Wild Card game. If you formed your loyalty to the Cincinnati Reds when they were still a part of the NL West, then you may still hold some very strong feelings for the Dodgers. If you became a fan of the Reds after the divisions were realigned and the Brewers were still in the American League, then perhaps your feelings for the Dodgers are a bit different. Tonight will see Los Angeles host the St. Louis Cardinals in a win-or-go-home game.
The Pitching Matchup
Two of the best pitchers in the league face off as Max Scherzer and Adam Wainwright take the mound for their respective teams.
A midseason addition, Max Scherzer has been dominant in his 11 starts since joining the Dodgers. He has gone 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 68.1 innings while walking just 8 batters and striking out 89. With the Nationals in the first half of the year he posted a 2.76 ERA in 19 starts. In six starts at Dodger Stadium this year, Scherzer has 3 walks and 45 strikeouts in 37.1 innings and a 2.17 ERA. In two starts against the Cardinals this season he has been charged with 1 unearned run and struck out 22 batters with just 1 walk and 10 hits in 14.0 innings. One of those starts was in April and the other one was in September.
Adam Wainwright went 17-7 this year with a 3.05 ERA while throwing 206.1 innings for the Cardinals. Lefties have had a little more success against him this season, hitting .229/.285/.370 – basically just hitting for a bit more power than righties have. On the road, Wainwright had a 3.58 ERA this season (2.74 at home) and was more home run prone (10 HR allowed on the road in 78.0 innings vs. 11 at home in 128.1 innings). He only faced the Dodgers once this season, giving up 4 runs in 8.1 innings during a 15-7 win in early September.
The two teams played seven times during the regular season with the Dodgers winning 4 games. The two teams split a 4-game series in early September.
Maybe this won't mean a thing, but it looms over this wild card matchup, especially since Cards starter Adam Wainwright still has one of the best curveballs in the game: the Dodgers this year were 27th in baseball against the curve (by FanGraphs' pitch type values).
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) October 6, 2021
Adam Wainwright has thrown 109 innings in his postseason career and has a 2.89 ERA. He’s only pitched in one wild card game, though, and that was last year when he threw just 3.1 innings against San Diego in a loss. The Cardinals have lost 4 of his last 5 playoff starts (dating back to 2014’s NLCS).
Max Scherzer has thrown 112 innings in his postseason career and has a 3.38 ERA. His only appearance in a wild card game was back in 2019 when he threw 5.0 innings of 3-run baseball against Milwaukee. His team has won each of his last 4 playoff starts (all in 2019 with the Nationals).
When and Where
- Game time: 8:10pm ET
- Where: Dodger Stadium
- Watch: TBS
- Listen: ESPN Radio
- Forecast: 71°, cloudy, 1% chance of rain