St. Louis Cardinals (P, Carlos Martinez; C, Yadier Molina)
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Martinez: It may not be eye-popping, but Carlos Martinez has been posting a pretty nice second half up until now. An ERA under 4.00 is always a positive and currently holding a 4-1 win/loss record, shows that St. Louis’s man is doing his job. His first and second half stats may not be particularly amazing under the label of being ‘Ace’ of the Red Birds, but still, nothing that should cause complaints. The positive cards that Martinez brings to the table are youth, determination to win, and experience. By appearing in the World Series before, Martinez has handled himself well, ever since. He is a confident, young man who truly believes that on his night to throw; he can shut down the best offenses that the game has witnessed.
Molina: Yadi is a true vet and arguably the game’s best catcher, year-in, and year-out. More than likely to have his name in Cooperstown one day, this veteran backstop always brings the excitement to Cardinal fans. He is a catcher that can control a game on both sides of the plate and be as clutch as the best to ever do it. Age is definitely picking up the pace for the veteran Molina, but it is merely just a number to him. The Cardinals have always been able to rely on him for Gold Glove defense and a steady bat at the plate, which makes him scary if he rolls into October. Any type of run game goes out the window with Yadi behind the dish, and he is never afraid to come up big when a situation at the plate presents itself.
Assuming that the Los Angeles Dodgers can maintain their success and fly into the NLDS, they will not see any easy opponent. Of the players highlighted, there are still many other threats that the contending teams possess. However, these players, specifically have done damage to the Dodgers over some time and could pose as key players to shut down come October.