NLDS Preview — STL at ATL

The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves will face off the first time since May — a time when the postseason looked and felt like a mere figment of everyone’s imagination.

So we’ve made it to the postseason. The hashtags #TimeToFly and #ChopOn echo throughout social media. Fans nervously tap fingers against a flat surface and not-so-patiently wait for a little NLDS drama to unfold.

The last time the two teams met for a postseason game, it went down in the baseball history. Most Braves fans will argue that the Infield Fly of 2012 was never an infield fly, while Cardinals fans rejoice over the umpire’s decision.

(Also if you are looking for a little drama? The ump that made the infield fly call will be umpiring.)

Projected Game 1 Starters:

  • STL: Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.16 ERA)
  • ATL: Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.75 ERA)

 

Projected Game 1 Lineup for St. Louis:

  1. Dexter Fowler, RF.
  2. Kolten Wong, 2B.
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B.
  4. Marcell Ozuna, LF.
  5. Yadier Molina, C.
  6. Paul DeJong, SS.
  7. Tommy Edman, 3B.
  8. Harrison Bader, CF.
  9. Miles Mikolas, RHP.

 

Projected Game 1 Lineup for Atlanta:

  1. Ronald Acuña Jr., CF.
  2. Ozzie Albies, 2B.
  3. Freddie Freeman, 1B.
  4. Josh Donaldson, 3B.
  5. Nick Markakis, LF.
  6. Matt Joyce, RF.
  7. Tyler Flowers, C.
  8. Dansby Swanson, SS.
  9. Dallas Keuchel, LHP.

 

What to look for while watching the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1? If Paul Goldschmidt, Paul DeJong, and Marcell Ozuna can get hot in this series, it could be quite dangerous. Miles Mikolas has what it takes to go deep during this game despite a career-high of 27 home runs this season.

The Cardinals are strikeout prone and Keuchel could take full advantage of this, shutting them down and allowing his Braves to get on the board early.

Injury Report: Kolten Wong is set to return after missing the last two and a half series of the season. Michael Wacha has been shut down from throwing for a week due to a right shoulder strain.

What to look for while watching the Atlanta Braves in Game 1? Josh Donaldson and Ozzie Albies are the two Braves to watch in this series. Freddie Freeman has cooled off in the last month due to a problematic bone spur on his right elbow.

After returning from the IL, Dansby Swanson is still trying to find his old self. Dropping down in the lineup, he is still a crucial piece of the Braves puzzle.

Injury Report: Ender Inciarte, Johan Camargo, and Charlie Culberson will not be on the roster due to injuries. Acuña missed the final four games in the regular season. Freeman’s right elbow has been problematic due to a bone spur, causing him to miss a few final regular season games.

 (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

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