SF-Cards NLCS preview on October regulars

* While there are fresh blood in the fresh faces in the American League Championship Series -- Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles -- old familiar foes the San Francisco Giants meet the St. Louis Cardinals for the second time in three seasons. ...   2014 Canadians in the Minors … Canadians in College 2015 Canadian draft list Letters of Intent


National League Championship Series (Best-of-seven series) (Giants won four of seven meetings) San Francisco Giants

Team payroll: $149,089,475 (7th)

Octobers: 7 World Series, 22 Pennants, and 25 post-season appearances

Post-season record: 97-88.

Last post season: Swept Detroit in 2012 World Series.

How they got here: Upset the favored Washington Nationals in four games in best-of-five NL Division Series, after beating Pittsburgh Pirates in NL wild-card game.

Manager: Bruce Bochy

Record: 88-74.

Run differential: Plus 51.

Stud Hosses: Starters Madison Bumgarner (7 IP, 2 ER), Tim Hudson (7.1 IP, 1 R), Jake Peavy (5.2 IP, 0 R) and Ryan Vogelsong (5.2 IP, 1 R) held Ian Desmond (3-for-18), Wilson Ramos (2-for-17), Jayson Werth (1-for-17), Denard Span (2-for-19) and Adam LaRoche 1-for-18) to a combined .101 average (9-for-89).

Theme: “Know what happened in 2010? And in 2012? And in 2014?”

Looking up: Brandon Belt hit .268 (5-for-18, HR, 2 RBIs) with a game-winning HR in the 18th in Game 2, .760 OPS against the Nationals, Buster Posey (7-for-18, .389, 1 RBI) .839 OPS, the biggest star remaining in the post season, Hunter Pence .278 (5-for-18, 2 doubles) .705 OPS and Brandon Crawford batted .294 (5-for-17, double, 1 RBI) .669 OPS.

Looking down: Pablo Sandoval batted .211 (4-for-19, 1 RBI) .513 OPS, Travis Ishikawa .182 (2-for-114) and Gregor Blanco hit .111 (4-for-18, 1 RBI) .311 OPS.

Best all-time top five Giants (by the numbers): Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Mel Ott, Christy Mathewson, Amos Rusie.

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 total HRs over/under: 4 1/2.

Bodog odds to win World Series: No. 13-5.


St. Louis 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.

How they got here: Beat the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games in the NL Division Series including coming back late to beat probably Cy Young award winner and possible MVP Clayton Kershaw ... twice.

Manager: Mike Matheny.

Record: 90-72

Run differential: Plus 16.

Stud Hosses: Down 6-2 in Game 1 to Kershaw in the seventh, Matt Holliday, Jhonny Peralta, Yadier Molina, Matt Adams and John Jay each singled and Matt Carpenter doubled ... down 2-0 in the seventh of Game 4 to Kershaw, Holliday and Peralta singled and Adams hit a three-run homer.

Theme: “Remember when October used to belong the Yankees?” ... The Cards are in post season for the 11th time since 2000.

Looking up: Carpenter batted .374 (6-for-16, 3 doubles, 3 HRs, 7 RBIs) and 1.537 OPS against the Nationals; Jay batted .455 (5-for-11, RBI) 1.026 OPS, Adams hit .250 (3-for-12, HR, 4 RBIs) .900 OPS and Holliday hit .267 (4-for-15, HR, 3 RBIs) .779 OPS.

Looking down: Wong batted .182 (2-for-11, HR, 2 RBIs) .727 OPS, Randal Grichuk batted .188 (3-for-16, HR, RBIs) .610 OPS; Peralta hit .214 (3-for-14) .552 OPS, Molina hit .200 (3-for-15, double) and a .467 OPS.

Best all-time top five Cards (by the numbers): Stan Musial, Rogers Hornsby, Bob Gibson, Albert Pujols, Ozzie Smith.

J factor: Manager Matheny was a back up behind Darrin Fletcher and Jim Fregosi, then 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 total HRs over/under: 4.

Bodog odds to win World Series: 13-5.