Cardinals reveal NLCS rotation: Mikolas to start Game 1 against Nationals


The series will conclude Wednesday in Atlanta, with the victor advancing to meet the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Washington Nationals in the NL Championship Series.

The Nationals have been red-hot since mid-September, avoiding consecutive losses during a 14-3 run that began on September 20.

The club has produced middling results on the road in recent weeks, though, going 5-4 in their past nine. Ji-Man Choi, Brandon Lowe and Willy Adames hit solo homers for Tampa Bay, which pounded Astros starter Zack Greinke for six runs in 3 2/3 innings. Washington's starters beyond Game 1 have not been announced.

The Cardinals offense ended the Braves season with a bang, scoring 10 runs before the second out of the game while cruising to a champagne celebration. The 38-year-old right-hander was masterful in his lone NLDS appearance, pitching 7.2 scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and handing the St. Louis bullpen a 1-0 lead in Game 3.

However, Sanchez has been a steady presence on the mound, posting wins in his final three regular-season starts. Thanks in part to home-field advantage, the Nationals vs Cardinals Game 1 odds opened at St. Louis -115. Kolton Wong had a big game from the plate for the Saint Louis Cardinals as he went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs.

Howie Kendrick hit a tiebreaking grand slam off Joe Kelly in the 10th inning, and the Washington Nationals overcame a three-run deficit with a late rally to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 7-3 Wednesday night and advance to the NL Championship Series against St. Louis.

The Cardinals now return home aiming to win three in a row for the first time in 11 games.

Mikolas will face Nats right-hander Aníbal Sánchez. Jack Flaherty received the starting nod for the Saint Louis Cardinals, and he had success as he gave up 1 earned run while striking out 8 batters in 6 innings. He also tossed a ideal inning of relief in Game 4.

However, Mikolas had mixed results in a pair of starts against the Nationals this season.