The Los Angeles Dodgers set a franchise record this year by winning the NL West title for the fourth consecutive year. Even though this is a momentous occasion, just winning the division is no longer good enough for the organization and its fans. The roster is simply too talented to settle for just making the postseason. That is why Don Mattingly was fired after last year’s postseason flameout. New manager Dave Roberts has expertly guided the Dodgers through a rash of injuries to win the division once again, but that is not enough for the fans. They will settle for nothing else but a deep postseason run, and some fans won’t be satisfied unless they win it all. Here is a look at the Dodgers postseason chances.
First Step: Beat the Nationals
The first round of the postseason for the Dodgers starts with an NLDS battle with the Washington Nationals. The series will be a best-of-five matchup, and Washington has the home-field advantage. This should be an entertaining matchup that baseball fans will enjoy a lot. Game 1 is set for October 7 in Washington.
The first game matches two of the best pitchers in baseball, Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers and Max Scherzer for the Nationals. These two aces are among the best players in the regular season, but both have a history of playing very poorly once the postseason begins. In fact, Kershaw may be one of the biggest choke artists in postseason baseball history when you consider that he is one of the best pitchers in history during the regular season. The tone of the series will be set in Game 1, and both teams are praying that their best ace can step up and deliver when it matters most.
A key factor that favors the Dodgers in their battle against the Nationals is that they are finally healthy for the first time all year. Kershaw has been magnificent in his five starts since coming off the disabled list with a 1.29 ERA over 28 innings. Rich Hill, the Dodgers second-best starter, has overcome blister problems that kept him sidelined earlier this season.
On the other side, the Nationals have been bitten hard by the injury bug. They are missing one of their best starters as Stephen Strasburg is not likely to play in the NLDS due to a strained flexor mass in his throwing arm. They are also missing their All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos, who is out until 2017 after he tore his ACL last week. Bryce Harper, their best player, is also playing poorly as he is struggling with a shoulder injury. Because of these injuries, a 5 dimes sportsbook review of the odds shows that the Dodgers are favored to win Game 1 on the road.
After the Nationals
If the Dodgers do get past the Nationals, the journey gets much tougher from there. Their likely opponent in the NLCS would be the Chicago Cubs, who are having one of the best seasons in MLB history. The Cubs are terrifying whether they are pitching or batting. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are two of the best young sluggers in the game. Their starting pitching, featuring Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arrieta, is perhaps the greatest in the history of the game. It will be a tall order for any team to defeat the Cubs this postseason, but the Dodgers hope they get the chance by beating the Nationals.
If the Dodgers can somehow make it to the World Series, they will not have home-field advantage when they get there. The AL won the All-Star Game this year to claim home-field advantage for the World Series. Possible opponents include the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.
As you can see, the Dodgers have a tough road to try to win the World Series for the first time since 1988. As this is year that legendary announcer Vin Scully retired after 67 years of broadcasting Dodgers games, it would be a fitting retirement present to give to the revered broadcaster.
Tags: sports analysis