Dodgers 2013 NLCS Playoff Forecast: Pittsburgh Pirates

After defeating the Braves in four games in the NLDS, the Dodgers must wait till tomorrow before finding out their NLCS opponent.

The Cardinals and Pirates will play on Wednesday in Game 5 at Busch Stadium, with the winner taking on the Dodgers in the NLCS.

The Pirates went 94-68 in the regular season and won the Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Reds to earn the right to take on the Cardinals. They lost Game 1 of the series before winning the next two, but failed to close out the series at home and head back to St. Louis.

This season, the Dodgers took four of seven against the Pirates; however, the games were all played before July. Both teams have had many changes since then and look completely different than they did in those games. The Dodgers swept the first series in April at Dodger Stadium,  while the Pirates took two out of three in Pittsburgh in June.


The Dodgers will send out right-hander Zack Greinke in Game 1, who faced the Pirates twice going 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA. Greinke threw six innings and allowed two runs in his only start in the postseason against the Braves.

Clayton Kershaw is scheduled for Game 2 and was brilliant in the NLDS, throwing 13 innings and allowing only one earned run. Those stats were similar to his stats against the Pirates this season as he threw 14 innings and allowed one run earning a victory in two starts.

The Dodgers other starters are Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco. Ryu faced the Pirates once this season going 6.1 innings with two earned runs, but he struggled in his first postseason start, lasting only three innings and giving up four runs. Nolasco hasn’t faced the Pirates this season and didn’t pitch in the NLDS.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers bullpen was solid overall with a couple minor hiccups.

Brian Wilson, J.P. Howell and Kenley Jansen didn’t allow a run, while long reliever Chris Capuano pitched three shutout innings if relief of Ryu in Game 3.

Paco Rodriguez and Ronald Belisario struggled, but look to get back on track with much needed rest before the NLCS.

The Pirates will presumably throw Francisco Liriano and A.J. Burnett in the first two games of the series. Burnett was the Game 1 starter in NLDS but lasted just two innings while allowing seven runs. He faced the Dodgers once this season going 5.1 innings and allowing one run.

Next Page: Click here for how both lineups stack up

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