Dodgers, Nats host openers, NL Previews

 * RHP Stephen Strasburg, above, faces RHP Jake Peavy of the San Franciso Giants while RHP Adam Wainright and the St. Louis Cardinals go against the Los Angeles Dodgers and LHP Clayton Kershaw. .... 2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent

By Bob Elliott

National League Championship Series (Nationals won five of seven meetings)

San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals

Giants Team payroll: $149,089,475 (7th) Octobers: 7 World Series, 22 Pennants, and 25 post-season appearances Post-season record: 94-87. Last post season: Swept Detroit in 2012 World Series. Manager: Bruce Bochy Record: 88-74. Run differential: Plus 51. How they got here: Blanked Pirates 8-0 in NL wild card. Stud Hosses: Re-born RHP Jake Peavy starts the opener (6-4, 2.17 with the Giants, 1-9, 4.72 with the Red Sox) starts for the Giants ... SS Brandon Crawford was the wild-card hero with his grand slam. Theme: ``We came to the capital to win not to sight see.`` Looking up: SF won WS in 2010 and 2012 and tries to continue the every other scenario ... Giants have won seven consecutive elimination games. Looking down: Are without CF Angel Pagan and LF Mike Morse plus will only have LHP Madison Bumgarner for one start ... One of four teams to lead by 6 1/2 teams to lead their division and not win (Jays are another). Retired numbers: Bill Terry (3), Mel Ott (4), Carl Hubbell (11), Monte Irvin (20), Willie Mays (24), Juan Marichal (27), Orlando Cepeda (30), Gaylord Perry (36), Willie McCovey (44) and Jackie Robinson (42). J factor: INF Marco Scutaro, C Guillermo Quiroz. Canadian content: Part owner Jeff Mallett, of Victoria, B.C. and scout Raimondo Calari from Montreal. Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): 9th, some support on west coast and from John Ircandia, the George Steinbrenner of the prairies in Okotoks, Alta. Bodog odds to win World Series: No. 12-1.

Nationals Team payroll: $136,856,579 (9th) Octobers: Three playoff appearances. Post-season record (counting the Expos): 7-8 Last post season: Lost 2012 NL Division Series to St. Louis in five games. Manager: Matt Williams. Record: 96-66. Run differential: Plus 131. How they got here: Best record in NL. Stud Hosses: RHP Stephen Strasburg (14-11, 3.14 ERA, 242 Ks in 215 innings. Theme: “Ah no, we did not shut down Strasburg this year.” Looking up: RHP Jordan Zimmermann (14-5, 2.66), RF Jayson Werth (16 HRs, 82 RBIs .292, .849 OPS) Looking down: C Wilson Ramos (11 HRs, 47 RBIs, .267.698 Retired numbers: Jackie Robinson 42. J factor: Werth. Canadian content: RHP Andrew Cooper, Belle River, Ont. and RHP Nick Pivetta, Victoria, B.C., who combined to win 20 games at Single A Hagerstown. Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 3 (the franchise formerly known as the Montreal Expos, although they’re no one roots for them in Quebec). Bodog odds to win World Series: 11-2. St. Louis at Los Angeleges

(Dodgers won four of seven meetings) Cardinals Team payroll: $71,929,333 (13th) Octobers: 11 World Series, 19 pennants, 27 playoff appearances. Post-season record: 117-101. Last post season: Lost 2013 World Series to Boston Red Sox 4-2. Manager: Mike Matheny. Record: 90-72 Run differential: Plus 16. Stud Hosses: LF Matt Holliday (20 HRs, 90 RBIs, .272, .811 OPS). Theme: “Who won the Cardinal-Dodger match up last year?” Looking up: RHP Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38), RP Trevor Rosenthal (2-6, 3.20, 45-for-51 in saves 88%) Looking down: RHP Michael Wacha (5-6, 3.20 in 19 starts) was the darling of last October. Retired numbers: Ozzie Smith 1, Red Schoendienst 2, Stan Musial 6, Enos Slaughter 9, Ken Boyer 14, Dizzy Dean 17, Lou Brock 20, Whitey Herzog, 24, Bruce Sutter 42, Jackie Robinson 42, Bob Gibson 45, August Busch Jr. 85. J factor: Manager Matheny was a back up behind Darrin Fletcher, changed his swing and won four Gold Gloves with the Giants and the Cards. Canadian content: bullpen coach Jamie Pogue from Guelph. Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs): No. 6 (The Yankees of the NL except mostly with homegrowns). Bodog odds to win World Series: 8-1.


Dodgers Team payroll: $229,335,934 (1st) Octobers: Six World Series, 22 Pennants, and 28 post-season appearances. Post-season record: 86-97-1. Last post season: Lost 201 NLCS to the Cardinals. Manager: Don Mattingly Record: 94-68. Run differential: Plus 101. Stud Hosses: Possible Cy Young and MVP award winner LHP Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77). Theme: “We’re one of president Stan Kasten’s two teams in the post-season (Washington).” Looking up: RHP Zack Greinke (17-8, 2.71), RF Yasiel Puig (16 HRs, 69 RBIs, .296, .863 OPS). Looking down: C A.J. Ellis (3 HRs, 25 RBIs, .191, .577 OPS). Retired numbers: Pee Wee Reese 1, Tommy Lasorda 2, Duke Snyder 4, Jim Gilliam 19, Don Sutton 20, Walter Alston 24, Sandy Koufax 32, Roy Campanella 39, Jackie Robinson 42, Don Drysdale 53. J factor: RP Brandon League. Canadian content: London’s Jamie Romak played 15 games, Ellen Harrigan, former class-A St. Catharines GM is director of baseball administration. Canada’s team (ranked by Canadian involvement and fan interest of the 10 post-season clubs):: No. 5 (The two organizations for many were the Yankees and the Dodgers, older fans rooted for one or the other.) Bodog odds to win World Series: Co-favorite with the Angels at 5-1.

And the winner is: Cardinals in four.