Unless you live under a rock or get most of your sports information from Facebook, you probably know that the Dodgers are hosting the Cardinals tonight in a best-of-one series to determine which team will face the 148-win Giants. Both Vegas oddsmakers and collective skill favor the 147-win Dodgers - a frugal team that scraped together a team of nobodies with a mere $247.7MM in Opening Day payroll.
Fortunately for the Cardinals, betting odds are truly irrelevant and skill is nothing compared to the importance of momentum. That's a huge deal for a team that has won 17 of its last 10 games. Of course the romanticized notion of momentum is really just a fallacy shoved up the butt of a misconception and wrapped in a My Little Pony sleeping bag, but that matters not.
What does matter is that the Cardinals have history on their side. The 2021 team finished with a record of 90-72. Since the 2011 team also finished 90-72, the 2021 version is destined to win the World Series. Obviously. That's just how these things work, and we can selectively ignore the 2014 team that went 90-72 and lost in the NLCS. No, seriously. The 2014 team can be ignored. It's easy. I do it all the time.
In truth, most everything can be ignored when it comes to doing a preview. Scherzer's 1.96 FIP since being traded along with Trea Turner to the Dodgers in exchange for four live bodies and a stack of pizza Lunchables? Pfft. Distant and/or recent history against Stl? Whatever. What about his ability to throw 7 different pitches for strikes? Irrelevant.
Let's focus on what IS relevant. Scherzer is just a slight-above-god-tier pitcher who obviously sold his soul for sportsball immortality. That's all. Granted, if his deal with Mephistopheles includes the 2021 Wild Card game, then the Cardinals may be screwed.
Cardinals Devil Magic may not outrank a soul exchange in the hierarchy of underworld exchanges and skillsets. Probably need Scott Boras to weigh in on this one since he's most likely the resident expert. I don't have his number so just for the sake of this discussion let's assume that CDM and soul exchange cancel each other out. It's still Max Scherzer and the Dodgers' defense against the Cardinals' offense weighed against Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals' defense against the Dodgers' offense.
Note that I didn't mention that it's "Scherzer vs Wainwright" because that's just a shortcut for narrative building. This isn't a 1 v 1. That may be a good thing for Scherzer. Wainwright has him by 4 inches (and he's taller too) and a solid 25 pounds. Waino's reach advantage and ability to consistently stick the jab is difficult to beat. Admittedly, Scherzer can potentially counter the jab with the intimidation factor. He has the look of someone has taken the life of a woodland creature with his teeth. That's frightening, but I'll still take the guy with the bigger, longer swing.
You may be imagining Scherzer gnawing on a deer carcass or Wainwright working the heavy bag.
You were warned. This really is the worst preview ever.
If you REALLY want a good, relevant preview of the game try time travel. If that's not an option then wait until 7:10pm Central Time, turn to TBS, mute the audio, and watch the damn game. At that point all the previews will have the same value as this one does now - zero.
PS - Please take a moment to check out actual previews written by actual professionals who put effort and time into the great work that they do. Let's face it most of you aren't doing anything productive at work right now anyway.