MLB Weekend Preview: National League

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

The Giants and Cardinals headline a fantastic weekend of action in the National League. Al Dannity likes the Cardinals to impress in Wildcard chase.

St. Louis can come out on top The Cardinals welcome the Giants this weekend for a three game set which could have major implications for the Wildcard chase. Neither side is out of its divisional race but with playoff places at a premium, San Francisco and St. Louis know they may have to rely on the Wildcard in order to play October Baseball.

This means we should be in for three fascinating games of Baseball. The Cardinals are locked in a battle with Cincinnati for the NL Central. As it stands, St. Louis is on the outside looking in so a good weekend is necessary. I like the Cardinals to get off to a good start on Friday with Jake Westbrook on the mound. The St. Louis pitcher has done everything asked of him so far this season and he should have enough to get the home team off to a good start against the Giants. San Francisco is locked in its own divisional battle over in the NL West with the Padres. Catching San Diego is going to prove difficult for the Giants so they need to stay relevant in the Wildcard picture.

For all of his recent problems, I like Tim Lincecum to pick up a win for the Giants on Saturday. The two-time Cy Young winner hasn’t been at his best lately but he still has the tools required to get San Francisco a win. Sunday should however see the Cardinals regain the edge, clinching the three game series to gain a leg-up in the Wildcard race.

Reds will leave Los Angeles with a pair of wins The resurgence of Cincinnati in 2010 should continue this weekend. The Reds travel to Los Angeles to take on a Dodgers team with fading playoff hopes. With San Diego steaming ahead in the NL West, the Dodgers’ only hope is through the Wildcard but even that looks unlikely at this stage.

Things are going to get worse for L.A. this weekend as the in-form Homer Bailey takes the mound for Cincinnati on Friday. I like Bailey to get the Reds off to a good start and Cincinnati should make it two for two with Johnny Cueto on Saturday. Cueto enters the game with an 11-3 record but this is his first game back from suspension. I like Cueto to make the most of his comeback and steer the Reds to victory. The Dodgers will probably do enough to avoid the sweep on Sunday but it will be too little, too late.