Tuesday night will mark the beginning of the National League Division Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. This series will mark the first time the two National League West teams have met each other in the playoffs. They could possibly play five straight days if the series goes the full distance. If that occurred, they would play every day from Tuesday until Saturday.
The National League playoffs will all take place in Texas, with this series being played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, home of the Texas Rangers. This stadium just opened up this year, and both teams have a small sample size playing there during the regular season.
On Tuesday morning, the Dodgers announced their Division Series postseason roster. There were some noticeable roster moves. Right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro and infielder Gavin Lux, who were both left off the roster in the Wild Card round, were both added. To make room for Lux and Floro, rookie catcher Keibert Ruiz and infielder Edwin Rios were left off the roster.
Veteran outfielder Terrance Gore was kept on the roster as well, who will mostly come in any late-game pinch-running situations. Adding Floro is a move personally I saw coming, while adding Lux and dropping Rios was one I didn’t. Perhaps Lux made it on the roster to provide more flexibility defensively, allowing Chris Taylor to move around more. Globe Life Field also provides a really big outfield, so adding speed in the outfield could come in handy. Rios was left on the Dodgers taxi squad in case of an emergency.
Walker Buehler is slated for starting duties in Game 1, as he did in the Wild Card round. Buehler pitched four innings in his start against the Brewers, while allowing two runs and striking out eight. Buehler’s season-high in a game for innings is six, as he hasn’t pitched deep into too many games due to ongoing blister issues.
When Buehler was asked about the blisters coming into this series he said he’s not worrying about it too much and that his routine remains the same. Clayton Kershaw is slated to start Game 2, so the pitching order will be identical to the Wild Card Round. Kershaw was outstanding against the Brewers, pitching eight innings and collecting 13 strikeouts. The Dodger starter beyond Game 2 still remains a mystery as of now.
Buehler will take on Mike Clevinger in the pitching matchup in the opener. Clevinger suffered an injury late in the regular season and was left off the Wild Card roster. The Padres were hoping to have him back for this series, and now he will start Game 1. Right-handed pitcher Dinelson Lamet was left off their roster still dealing with an injury he suffered late in the regular season. The Padres were hoping to have him back this series but will have to continue without him.
So, the two teams with the two best records in the National League will meet in a best-of-five division series. The ten regular-season meetings had a playoff atmosphere and tensions rose from dugouts. As an avid baseball fan, this series will surely be fun to watch. If you’re a fan of either the Padres or Dodgers, you surely want to beat the other side badly.
I have two predictions, one with my heart and one with my head. The one with my heart, which would be probably a dream scenario, says Dodgers will win in five games with a walk-off grand slam to advance.
With my head, I’m taking the Dodgers in four games, I think this team is just too deep and is too hungry for a World Series trophy.