Clear 42° Good Evening
Clear 42° Good Evening

2013 NLCS rematch highlights division series

Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates

Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the San Francisco Giants in the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jeff Gross

The NLDS is set, with the Giants joining the division champion Nationals (East), Cardinals (Central) and Dodgers (West) after their NL Wild Card win on Wednesday night. The best-of-five series are set to begin on Friday night.

Here's a look at each series, along with projections for who will advance and vie for the NL pennant.

Dodgers vs. Cardinals

Regular season series: Dodgers won, 4-3

Dodgers' top hitters: Adrian Gonzalez (.276, 27 HRs, 116 RBIs), Matt Kemp (.287, 25 HRs, 89 RBIs), Yasiel Puig (.296, 16 HRs, 69 RBIs)

Cardinals' top hitters: Matt Holliday (.272, 20 HRs, 90 RBIs), Jhonny Peralta (.263, 21 HRs, 75 RBIs), Matt Adams (.288, 15 HRs, 68 RBIs)

Dodgers' top pitchers: Clayton Kershaw (21-3, 1.77 ERA, 239 SO), Zach Greinke (17-8, 2.71 ERA, 207 SO), Hyun-Jin Ryu (14-7, 3.38 ERA, 1.19 WHIP)

Cardinals' top pitchers: Adam Wainwright (20-9, 2.38 ERA, 179 SO), Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74 ERA, 181 SO), Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.74 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)

Outlook: Few pitching matchups this postseason will be as tantalizing as Kershaw vs. Wainwright in Game 1 -- and perhaps they'll meet again later in this NLDS.

Both teams have well-rounded pitching staffs, but it's the Dodgers who possess the better lineup. Between Gonzalez, Kemp, Puig, Hanley Ramirez and the speedy Dee Gordon, the talented Cardinals arms will have their hands full.

That stacked lineup should be enough to give the Dodgers the edge and allow Los Angeles to extract revenge on the team that knocked them from the NLCS last year.

Nationals vs. Giants

Regular season series: Nationals won, 5-2

Nationals' top hitters: Anthony Rendon (.287, 24 HRs, 91 RBIs), Adam LaRoche (.259, 26 HRs, 92 RBIs), Jayson Werth (.292, 16 HRs, 82 RBIs)

Giants' top hitters: Buster Posey (.311, 22 HRs, 89 RBIs), Hunter Pence (.277, 20 HRs, 74 RBIs), Pablo Sandoval (.279, 16 HRs, 73 RBIs)

Nationals' top pitchers: Jordan Zimmermann (14-5, 2.66 ERA, 182 SO), Stephen Strasburg (14-11, 3.14 ERA, 242 SO), Doug Fister (16-6, 2.41 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)

Giants' top pitchers: Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA, 219 SO), Jake Peavy (7-13, 3.73 ERA, 158 SO), Tim Hudson (9-13, 3.57 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)

Outlook: Pitching, pitching and more pitching has the Nationals back in the postseason, this time as the NL's top seed. And it's the reason they should be viewed as the favorites to advance in this NLDS.

It's not that San Francisco doesn't have strong arms of its own to turn to; they do. But Bumgarner's complete game on Wednesday would seem to ensure he would only pitch once in this series in Game 3. The Nats, meanwhile, counter with ace-caliber pitchers almost every game.

As long as Washington can put just a few runs on the board, that should be enough most nights. That's why the Nationals will oust the Giants in four games.

Top Photos & Videos