Who Would You Rather See in the NLCS: Nationals or Cardinals?

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

You chose wisely before the division series started. Let's try it again.

The glow is still there. The Giants won a division series after losing the first two games. After losing the first two games miserably. Was there anything like the dejection of Game 2? That was the kind of sporting event that made you mope for a full day, which made you upset at yourself for moping about a sporting event, which made you mope even more.

Buster Posey hitting a grand slam off Mat Latos wasn't a realistic or possible scenario after Game 2. It was something you drunkenly tried to recreate with MLB: The Show or Legos to make yourself feel better.

The glow will fade. There are still more games to be played. The Posey grand slam should have been a walk-off for the entire season. Pack it up, boys, it don't get no better than that no how. But there's still a whole series to be played. And if the Giants are lucky, there will be a whole new series after that. Madness.

As of right now, though, the Giants are running unopposed in the National League Championship Series. They could make it without playing anyone if things stay the way they are right now! Alas, there's a game on Friday, and that could foul everything up. They'll play the Nationals or Cardinals, which leads us to an important question:

Would you prefer the Giants play the Nationals or Cardinals?

You chose the Reds over the Nationals when a variation of this question was first asked. That was a horrible, brilliant choice. So let's try it again.

The answer seems simple on the surface. With the Cardinals, the Giants would have home-field advantage. They'd get an extra home game, if necessary. The problem with that, though, is that the Giants have stretches where they play like the '08 Giants at home, and it would appear that they're in one right now.

On the other hand, the Nationals are Strasburgless. Gio Gonzalez isn't throwing strikes, and Edwin Jackson looks hittable. They're a fantastically built team, don't get me wrong, but like every team in the postseason right now, they have a couple leaky parts.

More than that, though, the Nationals aren't a team with a long history of annoying the Giants. If they were to win and advance to the World Series, it wouldn't be that offensive. It would be a good team besting a good team in a short series and moving on.

The Cardinals, though. The Cardinals are icky. It started with this:


They broke our hearts in 1987. The Giants paid them back in 2002. And then there was this:


GROSS.

That all counts, but I'm not going to pretend the Giants and Cardinals still have a fierce rivalry. It's funny to look back on, but decades have passed. What's more important is that they just won the damned thing. They just had their moment, and it was a few years after their last moment. And they want to do it again?

As the second Wild Card? A team that wouldn't even be in the playoffs under the different formats of the previous 150 years? I don't want the Giants to be responsible for that. Imagine a Cardinals/Yankees World Series. Glick.

But with great risk comes great reward, much like the last Latos appearance of the season*, there would be some deliciousness with a victory over the Cardinals.

After all that, here's the important part: the extra home game. I'm not going to throw out the idea of home-field advantage because the Giants lost their first two games of the NLDS, or because they had stretches of poor play there this season. I'll stick with the idea that the home team is more likely to win, now and forever.

Plus, that extra game of playoff revenue will get pumped directly into the team payroll, I'm guessing.

Maybe not.

But I'm pulling for the Cardinals. The Giants already secured home-field advantage in the World Series, but they'll need to get there first. And to do that, an extra home game wouldn't hurt their efforts.

*4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, L

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