Dodgers: A Familiar Foe Could Be Waiting for LA Early in the Postseason

The Dodgers can still surpass the Giants and win their ninth straight NL West Division title. If they don’t, they might have a matchup with an old rival in the Wild Card game – the St. Louis Cardinals.

If someone were writing a script for the 2021 Dodgers, having to beat a former tormentor in a winner-take-all game fits into the plot nicely.

To be clear, this is much more about armchair anxiety for Dodgers fans than nerves for the actual players. Only three current Dodgers remain from the 2014 team that lost the 2014 NLDS to the Cardinals: Clayton Kershaw, Justin Turner, and Kenley Jansen. Four Cardinals are still on the 40-man roster, headlined by Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.

In short, these are two completely different teams from seven years ago.

Even so, a single elimination game against the Phillies, Mets, or Reds wouldn’t produce the same blood pressure for Dodgers fans as the Cardinals.

Traumatizing losses don’t wipe away easily. Especially for Dodgers fans.

This is a rivalry punctuated with Kershaw meltdowns (thanks Don Mattingly!), a gut-wrenching Matt Adams homer, and Molina picking off Andre Ethier.

The Dodgers would be facing one of the hottest teams in baseball. Through Thursday, the Cardinals have won a mind boggling 12 games in a row. Adam Wainwright, who has the fourth lowest ERA in the second half, would likely start. Last time the Dodgers faced Wainwright, it took their bats eight plus innings to get to him.

However, Los Angeles is by far, the better team. They could absolutely smoke the Cardinals in a Wild Card game. They have the better lineup, the better bullpen, and the best starter in Max Scherzer.

After an unexpected season of chasing the Giants, it could be a matchup Dodgers fans have come to expect in October, those damn Cardinals.

NEXT: Luke Raley Launches the Longest Homerun of the Season For LA

Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.


  1. Some of us are still pained at 1985 and the infamous “go crazy, folks” call that still shows up in numerous post season promo commercials. And yes, Jack Buck never liked the Dodgers and neither does Joe. Let’d just skip the Cards this time, what say?

    1. I know that Dodgers fans are supposed to hate the Giants…but, the Cardinals have caused me way more heartburn than the Giants have. I will never forget being a 15 year old and getting crushed in ’85 watching the Cardinals beat the Dodgers. But, in all fairness, the Cardinals were robbed of a championship that year versus Kansas City.

  2. The Cards have been their nemesis going back to 1946 when they beat the Dodgers for the pennant in a playoff after being tied for the lead on the last day of the season. And, who can forget Jack Clark and his homer off Neidenfuhr in 1985? I would be worried.

  3. Just goes to show how flawed Manfred is and this one game elimination format that can potentially end a team’s season after that team wins over 100 games. Hard to say but Dodgers season could end this way on October 6th.

    1. Another good reason to fire Manfred!! His extra inning rule “give each team a man on second each inning….the only pro sport giving free b’s (an admission that the league needs to admit the game can’t
      be finished by the teams getting help). What a farce!!!

    1. No doubt Bellinger will be batting third and go zero for the game, stranding multiple runners in scoring position. The Cards are peaking at just the right time. If only the Giants could face them as the wild card team, but they show no signs of weakening either.

  4. If the DODGERS struggle to get their offense moving against the DBacks, how are they going to fair against the Brewers, or as Charlie would say..”the Brers”, and a 1 gamer against the Cards could easily bring the season to another shocking end. All it takes is a screwup from Roberts to kiss this season over.

  5. The season must “come to a shocking end” for two of these teams, Giants, Dodgers, Cardinals: one in the wild card, one in the best-of-five series, so two of the three best teams right now will be “gone fishin” and almost forgotten by the end of October–except by their traumatized fans. It happens almost every year–that’s baseball.

  6. Absolutely concur, Tom, but I will remain hopeful that one of the two traumatized fanbases is not ours.

  7. As long as the Dodgers have DRRRRRRRRR’s as their manager, they will blow it. This year has 3 teams that are better right now than the Dodgers. Last year there were none. Anyone thinks roberts has what it takes to beat the Brewers, giants and Cardinals to get to the world series is delusional…

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