Miami. Atlanta. LA. San Diego. Who will advance to the NLCS?
The NLDS starts tomorrow with the Dodgers attempting to win their first World Series title since 1988, but standing in their way is Slam Diego. Atlanta will be looking to win their first title since 1995, but will be facing a Miami Marlins team that has never lost a postseason series. This will make for some great matchups. Earlier today I gave my first round predictions for the ALDS and this time around, I will be going over the NLDS.
Los Angeles Dodgers V. San Diego Padres
Wild Card Round Outcome:
LA swept Milwaukee 2-0
San Diego beat St. Louis in three
The Dodgers dispatched a wounded Brewers team with ease. Mookie Betts made a splash in his Dodgers playoff debut, hitting .429, with three RBIs, and an OPS of 1.357. While Betts’ debut was impressive, the real star of the show was Clayton Kershaw. The future Hall of Famer threw eight shutout innings while striking out 13. Kershaw has been known for continuously falling short in the playoffs and his dominance over the Brewers was a welcoming sight. Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Dustin May, and Tony Gosolin are a tough starting rotation for any offense to face.
Throw in an elite offense of Betts, Cody Bellinger, Cody Seager, Max Muncy, AJ Pollock, and Justin Turner, plus a lights out bullpen of Blake Treinen, Kenley Jansen, Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, and Adam Kolarek, and the Dodger’s are once again set up to win it all.
However, the San Diego Padres have the offensive firepower to go toe to toe with the Dodgers and this was evident in their Wild Card series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Down 1-0 in the series, and 6-2 in the sixth inning of Game Two, the Padres bats came alive. Superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. started things off with a three-run homer, while Manny Machado immediately followed it up with a solo shot of his own. A 6-2 game quickly became 6-6. Tatis went on to homer again, while Wil Myers added two additional homers. The Padres won a thriller 11-9 and ended up winning Game Three 4-0.
For the Padres to upset the Dodgers, they will need ace Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet to be healthy and available to pitch. Both missed the Wild Card series due to their respective injuries. Clevinger in particular would help sway this series. Acquired at the trade deadline from the Cleveland Indians, the 29-year-old finished the season 3-2, with a 3.02 ERA, 40 strikeouts, and a 4.15 FIP, in eight starts. But since arriving in San Diego, Clevinger went 2-1, with a 2.84 ERA, 19 strikeouts, and an impressive 2.35 FIP, in four starts. After Zach Davies and Chris Paddack both struggled in their Wild Card starts, Clevinger’s presence will be needed.
Prediction: Unless Lamet and Clevinger make an appearance, the Dodgers offense will abuse the Padres rotation. Dodgers in four.