Cardinals vs. Dodgers Game 5 Preview and Prediction

There is no tomorrow for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Win today and continue the National League Championship Series or lose and go home to watch the World Series from your living room.

The Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals for Game 5 of the NLCS trailing the Cardinals 3-1. The Dodgers must now win three straight games to move on to the World Series.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals defeated the Dodgers 4-2, behind strong pitching from the bullpen and timely hitting from Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter.

After the Dodgers trailed in the series 2-0, things looked bad, but Los Angeles came back and defeated the Cardinals in Game 3. That gave Los Angeles two more home games to tie and possibly take the lead in the series heading back for the final two games in St. Louis.

That did not happen. The Dodgers lost game 4 and now are on the brink of elimination. Los Angeles will hand the ball in Game 5 to Zack Greinke and if he can win, will send ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound in game 6.

Lance Lynn tossed a strong game for the Cardinals in Game 4; Lynn pitched 5 1/3 innings of two run baseball leaving with a 3-2 lead in the sixth. The bullpen for St. Louis then proceeded to shut the Dodgers down the rest of the way.

Now the Dodgers must do anything and everything to avoid being eliminated.

The Los Angeles decision to send Ricky Nolasco to the mound in Game 4 did not work out as planned. Nolasco had not pitched in two weeks and it showed, falling behind early 3-0.

However, the Dodgers do have hope left as Greinke has been close to unhittable pitching at home this season. His ERA in Dodger Stadium is 2.11 and he has held batters to a lowly .207 batting average.

Greinke pitched well against St. Louis the only time he faced them this season. He held the Cardinals to only two runs in his 6 1/3 innings pitched.

Greinke also pitched well against the Cards in Game 1 giving up just two hits and striking out 10.

Joe Kelly will get the start in Game 5 for the Cardinals. He too pitched in Game 1 of the series, but was not as impressive as Greinke but managed to get out of some jams and allow only two runs over six innings.

Kelly has pitched very well on the road this season. He had an ERA of just 2.07 in 19 appearances, of which seven were starts.

Los Angeles could be without Hanley Ramirez their starting shortstop who could not play through the pain of a fractured rib in Game 4.

With their back against the wall, the Dodgers are favored in this matchup with Greinke starting.

Pick: Los Angeles 2-0

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