San Francisco. LA. Milwaukee. Atlanta. Who will advance to the NLCS?
The NLDS kicks off today with the best two teams in baseball squaring off. The 107 win Giants host the 106 win Dodgers to see who will receive home-field advantage for the NLCS. Milwaukee is in the playoffs for the fourth straight season and is looking to win their first-ever World Series title. Atlanta has its eyes set on winning its first championship since 1995. Here are our NLDS predictions.
San Francisco Giants Vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
For the first time in MLB history, two teams with 105+ wins will face off. What’s even more surprising, this will be the first matchup between the two teams in the playoffs. San Francisco shocked the baseball world by winning the division and a franchise-record 107 games. Everything that could have gone right for the Giants did. Most notably, the front office nailed their free-agent signings.
Alex Wood (3.83 ERA, 3.43 FIP) and Anthony DeSclafani (3.17 ERA, 3.62 FIP) have been godsends in the rotation. Kevin Gausman (2.81 ERA, 3.00 FIP) who accepted the qualifying offer, has finally ascended into the ace the Orioles believed he could be when they drafted him fourth overall in 2012. Joining them in the rotation is Logan Webb (3.03 ERA, 2.72 FIP).
The rotation will have their hands full with the deepest offense in baseball. It will be up to Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Kris Bryant, Mike Yastrzemski, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Evan Longoria to help carry the load. Unfortunately for the Giants, Brandon Belt will miss the NLDS due to fracturing his thumb at the end of the regular season. While the Giant’s offense lacks the name recognition of the Dodgers, they led the NL in homers (241), SLG (.440), OPS (.769), wRC+ (108), and fWAR (30.0).
Chris Taylor’s ninth-inning heroics in the Wild Card game allowed the Dodgers to advance to the NLDS for the ninth straight season. A year after winning the World Series, this might be the deepest Dodgers team of all time.
The rotation is led by Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias. Kenley Jansen anchors the bullpen and has looked like his old self. The offense is loaded with All-stars and former MVPs. Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, and A.J. Pollock make up the deepest lineup in baseball.
Prediction: The Dodgers are the deeper team and this will become apparent. Dodgers in 5.