On Deck will be here all season to provide you with everything you need to know (and a few things you don't) about every postseason series during the 2014 season.
The Teams: No matter which team wins this series, there will be a team going to the World Series for the third time in five seasons. How boring.
Past 2014 Meetings: The Giants won the season series 4-3 over the Cardinals.
Pitching Matchups: Saturday — Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38); Sunday — Jake Peavy (7-13, 3.73) vs. Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74); Tuesday — Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57) vs. John Lackey (14-10, 3.82); Wednesday — Ryan Vogelsong (8-13, 4.00) vs. Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74); Thursday* — Bumgarner vs. Wainwright; Saturday* — Peavy vs. Lynn; Sunday* — Hudson vs. Lackey.
What's Hot: Buster Posey and Brandon Belt have carried the Giants' offense throughout the postseason — the Wild Card game and the NLDS win over the Nationals. Posey is batting .391 with two RBIs, and Belt has a .333 average with a homer and five RBIs. Bumgarner has allowed two earned runs over his 16 innings of work, including a complete game shutout in the Wild Card win over Pittsburgh.
Matt Carpenter is a solid big-league hitter, but he's come out of nowhere to carry the Cardinals through their NLDS win over the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw. Carpenter hit three homers and three doubles in the series and drove in seven runs. Mr. Postseason John Lackey tossed seven innings of one-run ball with eight punch-outs and one walk.
What's Not: Gregor Blanco has struggled horribly in the leadoff spot for the Giants since they lost Angel Pagan. Blanco is just 2-for-22 in the postseason.
Wainwright underdelivered in his one start in the ALDS, but got lucky when his teammates beat up Kershaw even more. Wainwright allowed six runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.