LOS ANGELES -- Meet 'em in St. Louis.
The Dodgers worked out Wednesday with the NLDS game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates playing out on the Dodger Stadium video boards. Then they hopped on a plane for St. Louis when that game ended. The National League Championship Series will begin Friday at Busch Stadium.
"When we played St. Louis the last time there at their place (in August), they were kind of struggling a little bit at that time but we really felt they were the best team in that division," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Here is a quick look at what you need to know:
The Cardinals have home-field advantage and host Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday, then Games 6 and 7, if necessary. The Dodgers won the season series, 4-3, taking 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium on Aug. 5-8.
The two franchises have 39 NL pennants between them and they've met three times in the postseason. The Cardinals won the 1985 NLCS featuring Ozzie Smith's winning home run in Game 5 and Jack Clark's homer in Game 6.
The teams have split two NLDS meetings in this century. The Cardinals won in 2004, the Dodgers in 2009.
By starting Clayton Kershaw on short rest and ending their NLDS on Monday, the Dodgers are able to re-set their rotation and start the NLCS with Zack Greinke in Game 1 and Kershaw in Game 2. Their decisions will come in Games 3 and 4 when Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco will take the mound.
Because their NLDS went the distance, the Cardinals will not have ace Adam Wainwright available until Game 3. Rookie phenom Michael Wacha will go against Kershaw in Game 2. The Cardinals will choose between Lance Lynn and Joe Kelly for Game 1.
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