Updated October 11, 2014
The San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals are meeting again at the 2014 National League Championship Series (NLCS) for a rematch since their meeting in 2012. This highly anticipated series game 1 will open Saturday in St. Louis at the Busch Stadium, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. Fans can watch online the Giants vs. Cardinals game 1 via live stream below (free for subscribers), and on FOX Television Network. Game 2 will be played on Sunday at 8:05 p.m. ET, and can be watched at Fox Sports 1 TV station.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in their fourth consecutive National League Championship Series (NLCS) appearance. The Cards won the 2011 World Series title against the Rangers, but lost to the Giants in 2012. The Cardinals appeared again in 2013 World Series, but ended up losing the title to Boston Red Sox.
In their last meeting, the Giants rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win the final three games of the 2012 NLCS. Before their meeting on Saturday, the Giants have won 11 of the 12 games in October. The Cardinals are also coming off a stunning triumph over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Giants' bullpen finished third in the NL with a 3.01 ERA, while the Cardinals finished 10th with a bullpen ERA of 3.62.
While Cards is led by Ace Adam Wainwright, San Francisco has left-handed pitcher Madison Burngarner, who has had an impressive postseason record, starting in 2010 and '12 World Series and allowed no runs and five hits across 15 innings.
The Giants also has Jake Peavy, who came from Boston Red Sox, the winner of 2013 World Series. Other key players who are expected to propel San Francisco are Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong.
While Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford and rookie second baseman Joe Panik have provided excellent defense for the team, Crawford has shown exceptional hitting records, hitting a grand slam in the Wild Card Game off Edison Volquez that led to the 8-0 run in Pittsburgh.
Moreover, Crawford hit. 365 with 16 RBIs in 23 games in Sept. and continued his hitting streak in the NLDS against the Nationals, hitting .294 in the four games.
On Cards' side, Wainwright will continue to be the key player to influence the outcome of the World Series. The seasoned pitcher has pitched 508 innings since the start of 2013, leading the Majors. In June, he skipped a start due to soreness around his right elbow.
In the last matchup against the Giants, Wainwright had his worst game of the year when SF tagged him for seven runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He later admitted to pitching with a "dead arm" in August before coming back with a strong Sept.
Wainwright gave an update of his health at a press conference on October 10, a day before NLCS Game 1, explaining how his injury has been way overblown and how he is confident that he is able to recover from it very well.
"When I took a game off after my Tampa start this season, I aggravated my elbow and its the back-side of my elbow. The elbow fearing world know that it is not my ligament. On the backside of elbow, I aggravated something. When I did that, it kind of got to its worse and after that it goes on the mend and it kind of gets better and better. The other day I reaggravated that same spot on the backside of my elbow. Now, I'm on the mend and I can feel something, and I'm very confident about it, because I dealt with that before and I felt the exact same thing. I was able to recover from it very well, so I have no doubts going in tomorrow."
Meanwhile, the Cardinals also have John Lackey, Jake's old-school teammate in Boston last October.
Going into the NLCS, the Giants and Cardinals have similar regular-season pitching stats. Both teams finished with 3.50 team ERAs and eight complete games. The Cardinals has 1,221 strikeouts, which is 10 more than the Giants.
According to MLB.com, the Giants has higher offensive advantages in runs (665 to 619), home runs (132 to 105) and slugging (.388 to .369). The Cards has slightly higher on-base percentage (.320 to .311) and more steals (57 to 56).
Fans can watch Giants vs Cardinals Game 1 at Fox. Giants' fans can listen to radio broadcast on KNBR 680, KTRB 860, ESPN Radio or their radio affiliates. Cards' fans can do the same on KMOX 1120 or ESPN Radio.
You can also watch the game online via the live Stream at MLB TV, which will be streaming every World Series game Live and select Postseason games to MLB.TV subsribers in the U.S. and Canada. Check for TV provider availability here.