District On Deck’s First Round NL Predictions
By Max Rayman
MLB Playoffs are officially back with the National League joining the madness later today.
Earlier, I gave my first round predictions for the AL matchups. Today I will be going over the NL matchups.
1) Los Angeles Dodgers V. 8) Milwaukee Brewers
Surprise! Surprise! The Dodgers are once again in the playoffs after winning their eighth straight NL West title. There isn’t much to be said about the Dodgers that hasn’t already been stated. With Mookie Betts anchoring the lineup and Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw atop the rotation, the Dodgers are once again favorites to win it all. Now it’s up to them to get over the hump and shed their label of being perennial chokers.
The Milwaukee Brewers barely squeaked into the playoffs and have been lost on offense all season long. In a best of three series, starting pitching will be a major factor in advancing to the NLDS. LA will have Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and either Dustin May or Tony Gonsolin for a potential game three. 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich will need to get his act together for the Brewers to even have a chance at a potential upset. He finished the season hitting .205, with 12 homers, 22 RBIs, and an OPS of .786.
On the pitching side, the Brewers still have one of the best bullpens in baseball led by Josh Hader and surging rookie Devin Williams. If the Brewers can hand those two a lead, more than not they will get the job done. However, that’s a tall task for an offense that ranked 26th in batting average (.223), 25th in wRC+ (89), 24th in offensive fWAR (4.2), 16th in homers (75), 24th in OPS (.702), and 21st in OBP (.313).
Prediction: The Dodgers will not be denied. LA in 2.