A look at Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright -- the starters for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series tonight.
Madison Bumgarner, Giants
Against the Cardinals
2014: 2 GS, 1-1, 3.00 ERA
Career: 7 GS, 3-4, 3.97 ERA
Loves to face: Matt Holliday, 3-for-18, 5 K
Hates to face: Matt Carpenter, 3-for-5, 2 2B
Why he'll win: As the stakes get bigger, Bumgarner gets better. The same applies when the lefty pitches away from AT&T Park. He blanked the Pirates in the NL Wild Card Game, and the clubhouse confidence level rises when he pitches.
The Cardinals hit five home runs off lefties in the NL Division Series. They hit eight home runs against lefties all season.
Bumgarner is the Giants' ace and no situation is too big for this postseason veteran. There is no one the Giants would rather have on the mound.
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Against the Giants
2014: 2 GS, 1-1, 5.25 ERA
Career: 12 appearances (10 GS), 5-5, 3.11 ERA
Loves to face: Buster Posey, 2-for-14, RBI
Hates to face: Michael Morse, 6-for-19, 2 HR, 5 RBIs
Why he'll win: Wainwright may be coming off his worst career postseason start, but the veteran has proven himself in numerous big October games for the Cardinals and would seem to benefit from the extended rest.
Pitcher beware: Working on 10 days' rest, Wainwright was tagged for six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings in Game 1 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium. There's some concern that he didn't have much life on his pitches, perhaps a result of fatigue from being such a reliable innings-eater all year.
Bottom line: Wainwright's health is a tipping point in this series. He lost twice to the Giants during the regular season, including his shakiest outing of the year in May. Wainwright will have seven days off before Game 1; time will tell what condition his arm is in.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanhood19. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.