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NL wild-card game predictions: Dodgers, Cardinals face off in matchup of storied franchises

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The St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers meet Wednesday at Dodger Stadium in the National League wild-card game.

The game matches two of the most storied and successful National League franchises in the history of the game. The Dodgers, the defending World Series champions, won 106 games during the regular season, but lost the West division to the San Francisco Giants and are relegated to the winner-take-all matchup.

The Cardinals head into the postseason on a tear, winning a franchise-record 17 games in a row down the stretch to secure the second NL wild card spot easily.

The pitching matchup features two of baseball's finest – 40-year-old Adam Wainwright against Max Scherzer, who is 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA since joining the Dodgers.

Bob Nightengale: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3 – The Cardinals have all of the momentum, winners of 17 in a row before calling off the dogs the final few days. The Dodgers have all of the confidence, winning last year’s World Series title and coming back to win 106 games. It’s a classic matchup of the National League’s bluebloods, who have faced one another six times in the postseason, with the Cardinals winning four of the last five series. This time, it’s the Dodgers’ turn, with ace Max Scherzer coming off two struggling starts (8.71 ERA) and former Cardinals’ great Albert Pujols coming off the bench to deliver the knockout punch.

Gabe Lacques: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 2 – NL Central clubs were eliminated in seven of their last eight playoff appearances. The Cardinals will be in too deep against Max Scherzer and, if needed, Julio Urias.

Steve Gardner: Dodgers 7, Cardinals 2 – Corey Seager is back in postseason MVP form with a long homer off Adam Wainwright and the Dodgers blow open a close game against the Cardinal bullpen.

Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals in Wednesday's NL wild-card game.
Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals in Wednesday's NL wild-card game.

Chris Bumbaca: Cardinals 5, Dodgers 3 – All of the reasons behind a potential Dodgers victory have been laid out, but this is baseball – no unanimity allowed. Adam Wainwright pitches long enough to outduel Max Scherzer, who gives up a key home run, and the 106-game winners go home without making it to the division series. Baseball is cruel. The Cardinals are often there to remind us of that.

Jesse Yomtov: Dodgers 5, Cardinals 2 – Trea Turner has given the Dodgers an entirely new look and he will be the difference-maker in this one. Turner scores a couple of runs – and swipes a bag on Yadier Molina – as the Dodgers get to Adam Wainwright.

Scott Boeck: Dodgers 8, Cardinals 2 – The Dodgers haven't lost a home game since Aug. 29 and plan to continue that streak with Max Scherzer, 7-0 with a 1.98 ERA since joining L.A., on the mound.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dodgers-Cardinals NL wild-card predictions: Who wins showdown?