Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig isn’t worried about the Giants, who have won three of the last five World Series titles.
The 24-year-old Cuban is more worried about the team that has ended his first two major league seasons - the Cardinals.
"If we can beat (the Cardinals), we can win the World Series. We have to pass through them. They're our principal rivals, not San Francisco, not anyone else,” Puig said in Spanish, according to the Los Angeles Times, while speaking at City Hall in Los Angeles on Friday, during a Dodgers’ event where players met with city officials and wounded military servicemen.
While the Dodgers have won the NL West each of the last two seasons, they’ve run into the Cardinals in each postseason. In 2013, they met up in the National League Championship Series, where St. Louis won the series 4-2 to advance to the World Series. In 2014, the familiar foes met in the Division Series, where the Cardinals hammered Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for 11 earned runs in 12.2 innings en route to a 3-1 series win and a meeting with the Giants in the NLCS.
Puig believes the Dodgers will get another shot at the Cardinals in the near future.
"In the regular season, we have to battle San Francisco so we can win the key to the playoffs. When we win that key, we'll go for St. Louis,” Puig said.
In 10 games against the Cardinals over the last two postseasons, Puig hit .235 (8-for-34) with no home runs, three RBI, two walks and 18 strikeouts.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Giants were able to get by the Cardinals during their last two postseason runs on their way to winning the World Series. In 2012, the Giants erased a 3-1 series deficit in the NLCS and advanced to the World Series. In 2014, they had a slightly easier time, as they beat the Cardinals in five games in the NLCS.