The 2021 MLB playoffs are underway, with the NL Wild Card game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers serving as the second appetizer before the main course (League Division Series) begin. This one-game series to see which of the Cardinals or the Dodgers will advance to play the San Francisco Giants is being played tonight, Oct. 6.
Baseball fans we’re already treated to one iconic matchup between the Yankees and Red Sox in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, Oct. 5, which the Red Sox won 6-2. Now, two marquee franchises from the National League will go head-to-head with just one game to keep their World Series hopes alive.
The Cardinals are traveling to Los Angeles for the game, which will begin at 8 p.m. ET on TBS. Here is a quick matchup preview and how to watch the game.
Cardinals vs Dodgers matchup preview
The St. Louis Cardinals enter the postseason as probably the hottest team in baseball. They went on a 17-game winning streak to clinch their wild card spot and went 21-4 overall in their final 25 games. They finished with an overall record of 90-72. The question will be if that momentum carries over with them into the postseason.
On the mound for the Cardinals in the wild card game will be Adam Wainwright, who, even at age 40, remains one of the best pitchers in baseball and was so again in 2021. He earned 17 wins throughout the season to just seven losses with an ERA of 3.04. While his overall numbers are good in the postseason (2.85 ERA), Wainwright actually hasn’t earned a win in any of his postseason starts since 2013.
Offensively, the Cardinals have a three-headed monster in Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill, all of whom hit more than 30 home runs this season. Plus, the always reliable and usually clutch Yadier Molina is likely to be behind the plate as well.
The Dodgers, meanwhile, were one of the best teams in baseball all season long, winning 106 games. Usually that would be good enough to avoid the wild card game, but unfortunately for the defending World Series champions, they share a division with the Giants, who bested them this year by one game.
Pitching for the Dodgers will be trade deadline acquisition Max Scherzer, and he has been worth every bit of what the Dodgers gave up for him so far. The Dodgers have not lost a game that Scherzer has started since his acquisition and he has had an overall ERA of 1.92 as a Dodger.
Los Angeles’ lineup is pretty stacked, featuring the likes of Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Will Smith, Corey Seager, Trea Turner (another trade acquisition), Cody Belligner and Chris Taylor. However, Max Muncy, who led the team in home runs and RBIs this season, will not be available for the game as he suffered an elbow injury in the closing days of the regular season; he may also miss more time should the Dodgers advance.
Los Angeles has the edge this season in the games the two teams played, 4-3. Similarly, the Dodgers are favored by 1.5 in tonight’s game.
How to watch Cardinals vs Dodgers in the U.S.
The entire National League playoff schedule will be broadcast by TBS, starting with the NL Wild Card game between the Cardinals and the Dodgers.
TBS is a cable network, so pay-TV subscribers must double check that their service includes the channel, but it is a pretty basic component in a majority of packages. TBS is also available on Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.
How to watch Cardinals vs Dodgers in the U.K.
Even though baseball is America’s pastime, any fans of the game over in the U.K. can still tune in for playoff and World Series action. BT Sport will broadcast the games to its subscribers through its ESPN subchannel.
You will need to be a BT Sports subscriber to watch the network’s coverage of the MLB playoffs. A monthly subscription is available at £25.
First pitch for Cardinals vs Dodgers in the U.K. will air live at 1 a.m. on Oct. 7.
How to watch Cardinals vs Dodgers from anywhere in the world
You don’t have to be in the U.S. (or even the U.K.) to watch the 2021 MLB playoffs from first pitch to the last out. MLB has shared all of the international broadcasters covering the games, but if you’ve cut the cord entirely and none of these options are immediately available to you, there’s still the option of a VPN, or virtual private network.
A VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer.
Michael Balderston is a D.C.-based entertainment writer and content producer for What to Watch. He previously has written for TV Technology and Awards Circuit.
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