Here are the keys to the series:
While this might sound repetitive, it can’t be stressed enough that the Dodgers need more consistency on offense. The Dodgers are simply too talented to struggle at the plate and the more runs they put on the board, the better the starting pitchers can focus on protecting the lead.
Hanley Ramirez has been outstanding in his last several games, but Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez need to improve their production.
The Dodgers rank fifth in batting average, but 17th in runs scored. Far too many runners are being left on base and the Dodgers must focus on getting timely hits with runners in scoring position.
2. Quality Starts:
Edinson Volquez will be on the mound for the first game, followed by Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke. With aces on the mound over the weekend, quality outings are expected since the bullpen has been overworked.
If the Dodgers are going to have postseason success, they need their two thoroughbreds to dominate on the mound. It’ll be interesting to see how Don Mattingly puts together his rotation with one eye towards the playoffs.
3. Fundamental Baseball:
In San Diego, the Dodgers just need to play their game. They can’t afford anymore injuries at this point as they’re still playing for home field advantage. Base running errors must be avoided and fielding errors as well because in the postseason a single error could cost you the game and even the series.
Prediction: The Dodgers will win two out of three. The Padres will more than likely steal game one, but the Dodgers should be able to take care of business the rest of the way.
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!