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NLCS Game 1 open thread

The Cardinals and Nationals begin their battle to represent the NL in the World Series. Who you got? I’m rooting for the meteor.

Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Here we go! The Championship Series round of the 2019 playoffs begins tonight. And the NL matchup pits the...Nationals against the Cardinals. Well, that’s certainly something.

I can think of about a few thousand combinations of teams I would’ve rather seen in the NLCS than these two, including teams that didn’t make the playoffs. And teams that don’t even play baseball. Like, how about the Washington Mystics? They seem fun. And they’re really good. Step aside, Cards and Nats, and let Elena Delle Donne and company take a crack at it.

But, alas, this is who we’re stuck with. The Orioles’ neighbors to the south, the Nationals, stunned the heavily favored Dodgers in the NLCS to win a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. There’s plenty of reason for O’s fans to root against the Nats, who have been embroiled in a lawsuit regarding MASN rights fees for years now. And many Nationals fans are former Orioles fans who shifted loyalties when the franchise moved to D.C., and is it really fair that those ship-jumpers should get to enjoy a World Series before the Orioles die-hards do?

On the other hand, are the St. Louis “Fun Police” Cardinals any more worth cheering for? They blew a gasket in the NLDS when the BravesRonald Acuna Jr., one of the most fun players in the game, dared to celebrate after hitting a home run, and continued to talk about his “disrespect” even as they were spraying the celebratory champagne. Plus their fans love to proclaim themselves the “best fans in baseball,” which is obnoxious.

On the plus side, two former Orioles favorites in Matt Wieters and Andrew Miller play for the Cards. And as a proud member of #teampaul, I enjoy that their roster also includes the two best current baseball-playing Pauls: Goldschmidt and DeJong. (No offense, Paul Fry.)

I suppose I’m pulling for the Cardinals in this series, but I’m doing so while holding my nose. I’m still hoping the Mystics come out of nowhere and pull this thing out.

First pitch from St. Louis is on TBS at 8:08 PM ET.

Nationals lineup:

SS Trea Turner
RF Adam Eaton
3B Anthony Rendon
LF Juan Soto
2B Howie Kendrick
1B Ryan Zimmerman
CF Michael Taylor
C Yan Gomes
P Anibal Sanchez

Cardinals lineup:

CF Dexter Fowler
2B Kolten Wong
1B Paul Goldschmidt
LF Marcell Ozuna
C Yadier Molina
3B Matt Carpenter
RF Tommy Edman
SS Paul DeJong
P Miles Mikolas