As the Dodgers await their opponent for the NLDS that starts this Saturday, they get a few days off to prepare themselves. They earned a bye during the Wild Card round and got the luxury of some much-needed rest.
LA will be taking on either the Milwaukee Brewers or the division rival, Arizona Diamondbacks, in their first-round series matchup. Milwaukee won the NL Central division this season, while Arizona came in second place behind LA in the NL West.
Both teams can give the Dodgers a run for their money, so the team will need to be ready for either matchup. They are more familiar with the Diamondbacks, but that could also pose trouble in the playoffs. LA found this out last season when they took on the San Diego Padres and were ousted in the NLDS.
The Dodgers and Brewers met each other six times during the regular season, with LA taking five of the six games. This includes a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium in the middle of August, so the teams have matched up semi-recently.
In the games between these two teams, LA outscored Milwaukee 31-15. They allowed the Brewers to score more than two runs in a game once, and it was the game that the Brewers won.
The Brewers are also expected to be without one of their top starting pitchers, as Brandon Woodruff is out for the Wild Card round and likely wouldn’t return if they made the NLDS, either.
Milwaukee is still considered the favorite to play the Dodgers in the divisional round, but we can’t sleep on the Diamondbacks to not upset them. Arizona had a resurgent season with their young team, and they would love nothing more than to face off against LA in the postseason.
The division rivals matched up 13 times this season, with the Dodgers taking eight of the 13 games. They outscored the Diamondbacks 72-47, and like the Brewers, the Dodgers swept Arizona at Dodger Stadium in August. If the two teams meet up, it would be a rematch of the 2017 NLDS, when the Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks out of the playoffs.
No matter who the Dodgers face in the series, it will be a battle. It has already been announced by manager Dave Roberts that Clayton Kershaw and Bobby Miller will get the starts in games one and two, so LA should feel good about their chances.
It’ll be an interesting playoff run for the Dodgers, and, hopefully, one that ends with another World Series win! But for now, they just have to focus on taking down Milwaukee or Arizona in the NLDS.
Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
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