NLCS: Los Angeles vs. Pittsburgh

The Dodgers payroll is almost four times as much as Pittsburgh’s. It might not matter.

With a trip to the World Series on the line, payrolls, records, stats, etc–they all go out the window. Two great teams are left to fight for a spot in the World Series.

You can be sure you’ll see plenty of pitchers going on short rest in this series. The Dodgers will ride Kershaw and Greinke as far as they can take them while the Pirates will use Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano as much as possible. It will also be interesting to see how AJ Burnett, in his final season, gives all he can in his final chapter.

These two teams have so much talent and you can expect several games in this series to come down to the late innings. How far will Don Mattingly let his horses pitch before he hands it over to his bullpen will be something to watch. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has the luxury of a dynamite bullpen that will excel at any point in the game. It will be these crucial late inning decisions that decide games.

Andrew McCutchen seemingly has the city of Pittsburgh on his back, so look for the best player in this series to be him. Is he an easy selection for series MVP? Sure, but it’s hard to argue with a player that exudes such talent, grace, and has clutch genes.

The Pirates will finally get to the promised land. But do they win it?

Series Prediction: Pittsburgh in 7