After overcoming the Braves, a team they had a 1-5 record against, the Cardinals appear to be a much better match for National League East division winner Washington.
St. Louis was 3-4 against Washington, losing three pf four games on the road about a month ago. St. Louis won two of three at Busch Stadium in the last week of the season including 12-2 and 10-4 blowouts.
The Nationals, of course will be without their phenomenal young pitcher Steven Strasburg who has been shut down for the rest of the year as part of his recovery from Tommy John surgery. Take away Strasburg and Washington has only one starter with more than 12 wins, Cy Young candidate Geo Gonzalez. But both Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman both have sparkling ERAs under 3.00.
Only former Cardinals starter Edwin Jackson has any playoff experience among the members of the Nationals' young but talented rotation.
Like the Cardinals, Washington has a lot of power distributed throughout the line-up with four players that have 22 homers or better. Only Jayson Werth, who was limited to a handful of games because of an injury, has significant playoff experience dating to his time with the Dodgers and the Phillies.
The Birds play Washington on Sunday and Monday afternoon. Adam Wainwright is expected to start game one of the National League Division Series and Jaime Garcia is scheduled to start game two.