October Confidential: NLDS Cardinals vs. Dodgers

The Cardinals will be in Los Angeles to face the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 in a rematch of last year's NLCS, which the Redbirds won in six games.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS

  Date   Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 3   STL 10, LAD 9 video
Gm 2 Oct. 4   LAD 3, STL 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 6   STL 3, LAD 1 video
Gm 4 Oct. 7   STL 3, LAD 2 video

Adam Wainwright
"You have to stick with your plan. He's a guy that's not going to make many mistakes. You have to follow the scouting report with him and try to execute your game plan. He's not going to give you too many pitches for you to drive the baseball. You especially have to avoid swinging at that cutter and make sure he works his count in your favor. What I mean is I'm trying to get to him in pretty good hitting counts. And be aggressive. He goes after you with everything he's got. He's got pretty good command of his secondary pitches, which makes him tough to hit also."
-- NL Central catcher

Yadier Molina
"I think with Yadi, the hardest thing is he's such a smart hitter. He knows, most of the time I think, when we're going to attack him. He has such a consistent approach of really trying to hit that right-center gap. He stays inside the ball inside and stays on the ball away pretty well too. The best thing we've had success with, I think, is keeping the ball down and get him to hit it on the ground."
-- NL Central catcher

Matt Holliday
"He's still a good hitter, still has some power. I don't think he has as quick of a bat as he used to. I think he's beatable with a fastball in on his hands. But if you don't get it in there, he can hurt you. He comes out swinging and is hacking early. He's a very aggressive hitter. He'll swing at just about everything in the strike zone. You really have to execute your pitches and if you're going to punch him out, you have to bury it in the dirt or get it down away from his bat."
-- NL West pitcher

Read the complete Cardinals October Confidential » 

LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Clayton Kershaw
"He's the best in the game. He's got four above-average pitches, if not the best pitches in the game right now. He's very aggressive. That's what stands out most about him. I feel like going in. ... You know what he's going to try and do to get you out, but then it's even that much more frustrating when he still does it and gets you out."
-- NL West hitter

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Yasiel Puig
"With Puig, this game has a tendency to figure you out. He's got a lot of tools, power and speed. I think once we learned where his weaknesses are, we've been able to attack them. He hasn't been able to make the adjustments. He's still chasing bad pitches, pitches out of the zone. As a pitcher, anytime you can do that, you're at an advantage because you know he's not going to take a walk or he'll get anxious and try to get you early."
-- NL West pitcher

Dee Gordon
"You have to keep him off the bases, so when he's up, you have to keep him off-balanced. You try to get him hit a fly ball somewhere so you can take that speed element out of it. He's gotten to be a better hitter than he was in the past, especially in terms of putting the ball in play a lot more. In the past, he struck out more and didn't utilize his speed. He's a tough out."
-- NL West pitcher

Read the complete Dodgers October Confidential »