District On Deck’s First Round NL Predictions

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 18: Sixto Sanchez #73 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on September 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 18: Sixto Sanchez #73 of the Miami Marlins delivers a pitch against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on September 18, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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4) San Diego Padres V. 5) St. Louis Cardinals

NL
SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 23: Eric Hosmer #30 and Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres celebrate after Hosmer’s home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at PETCO Park on September 23, 2020 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images) /

Slam Diego, welcome back to the playoffs. One of the biggest rising stars in the game, Fernando Tatis Jr. will be making his playoff debut. Tatis has emerged as a bonafide superstar, hitting .277, with 17 homers, 45 RBIs, and an OPS of .937. While all eyes will be on him, his co-stars can also put on a show. Manny Machado, Wil Myers, and Eric Hosmer join Tatis Jr. in powering the Padres lineup. After having a disappointing first season with the Padres, Machado has bounced back in a huge way. The 27-year-old led the team in batting average (.304), RBIs (47), OBP (.370), and hits (68). The Padres offense will be the driving force for the team, but the rotation of Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet, and Zach Davies plus Drew Pomeranz out of the bullpen, gives San Diego enough pitching firepower.

The St. Louis Cardinals made the playoffs last season off of the strength of their starting rotation. A year after posting a 2.75 ERA, ace Jack Flaherty has taken a major step back. His ERA has ballooned to a 4.91, while going 4-3, with 49 strikeouts.

Similar to last season, St. Louis’s offense has floundered. They finished the season ranked 22nd in batting average (.234), 19th in wRC+ (93), last in homers (53), 28th in RBIs (231), and 26th in OPS (.694). Keep in mind, they only played 58 games compared to everyone else playing 60. Without Marcell Ozuna, who left in free agency, the Cardinals offense failed to get things going. It will be up to Paul Goldschmidt and Matt Carpenter to lead the way.

Prediction: San Diego is just all around the better team. Padres in 2

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