Dodgers Team News

Dodgers’ Dave Roberts On NLCS Starting Rotation, Roster Changes, And More

The Los Angeles Dodgers will begin the National League Championship Series on Saturday at Dodger Stadium and are feeling very good about where they are at currently.

The Dodgers swept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS, and have been rewarded with days to prepare against their next opponent. They’ll face the Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs; two teams that are currently battling for a spot in the NLCS on Thursday in a critical Game 5 elimination game.

No one knows how tonight will turn out, but it’s certain that both teams will be a bit gimpy, especially after overcoming a winner-take-all matchup and boarding a flight directly to Los Angeles. The Dodgers will be fresh Saturday, and their ace will is definitely poised to bring his best stuff to the mound as well.

Clayton Kershaw is the starter for Game 1, but everything else isn’t set in stone. The Dodgers are likely waiting to see who wins Game 5 before they determine what their rotation will look like, but how have the rest of their starting pitchers done against the Cubs and Nationals this year? Yu Darvish didn’t face the Cubs or Nationals in 2017. Rich Hill only faced the Nationals once and gave up just one run in five innings against them. Alex Wood faced both the Nationals and the Cubs in 2017 and was superb. Wood held Chicago batters to a .172 batting average and Nationals hitters to .150 batting average.

The Dodgers are definitely in a good place as far as their starting rotation goes, and the bullpen is excelling at the standard that everyone knew they were capable of reaching. Kenta Maeda has really looked good in the bullpen and seems to be embracing his new role even better than anticipated. Brandon Morrow, Josh Fields, Tony Cingrani, and Tony Watson have also been tested and have looked good. The only relievers we did not see in the NLDS were Ross Stripling and Pedro Baez.

However, more help, and depth might be on the way before Game 1 starts.

When the relievers look that good, and simply do their job by holding opposing batting orders, it’s hard to see the Dodgers lose a game. And once 2Pac’s California Love starts booming throughout the speakers at Dodger Stadium, and the bullpen cage opens in the middle of the 8th or beginning of the ninth, then that means it’s time for Kenley Jansen. The Big Man on the Hill has 109 strike outs and only allowed 7 walks in 68 innings pitched all year.

It’s safe to say that the Dodgers like their chances against either team in the NLCS because of their rest/workout day preparation, momentum on offense, confidence in starting pitching, and efficiency from the bullpen.

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