More Thoughts on NLCS Matchup Against Braves

muncy betts
(Harry How/Getty Images)

In case you missed Saturday’s column, we discussed how the Dodgers and Braves matched up from the perspective of mostly team numbers, specifically with regards to the overall offenses, the rotations, and the bullpens. Today, I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the individual matchups, particularly from the views of a few MLB contributing writers.

On Friday, Mike Petriello of put together a compilation piece outlining a position-by-position comparison between most of the teams’ regular players. After a thorough review, I thought most of his evaluations were accurate.

In summary, as far as the infield went, Will Smith held the advantage over Travis d’Arnaud at catcher, Freddie Freeman beat out Max Muncy at first, Chris Taylor figured better than Ozzie Albies at the keystone, Corey Seager rated higher than Dansby Swanson at shortstop, and Justin Turner won out over Austin Riley at third base.

Overall, the Dodgers took four out of the five infield spots.

The outfield was especially interesting, as it featured a comparison between centerfielders Cody Bellinger and Ronald Acuna Jr. Petriello gave the advantage to Acuna—probably based on current state of play and overall 2020 numbers more than anything else. In left field, AJ Pollock won out over Adam Duvall, and in right field, Mookie Betts rates higher than Nick Markakis.

Marcell Ozuna won out at designated hitter, mainly because the Dodgers have not used a specific player in that spot.

As far as the overall position player comparisons went, the Dodgers snuck away having advantages in six of the nine spots.

The Dodgers won out in the starting pitching department while the Braves were rated as having a better bullpen—both of those observations shared the sentiments we made in Saturday’s column.

In his story Sunday, Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, among other things, outlined how the regular lineups of both teams might look. Here is how he laid them out (with some regular-season numbers in parenthesis):


  • CF Acuña (.250/.406/.581, 14 HRs, 29 RBI, 8 SBs)
  • 1B Freeman (.341/.462/.640, 13 HRs, 53 RBI)
  • DH Ozuna (.338/.431/.636, 18 HRs, 56 RBI)
  • C d’Arnaud (.321/.386/.533, 9 HRs, 34 RBI)
  • 2B Albies (.271/.306/.466, 6 HRs, 19 RBI)
  • SS Swanson (.274/.345/.464, 10 HRs, 35 RBI, 5 SBs)
  • LF Duvall (.237/.301/.532, 16 HRs, 33 RBI)
  • RF Markakis (.254/.312/.392, 1 HR, 15 RBI)
  • 3B Riley (.239/.301/.415, 8 HRs, 27 RBI)


  • RF Betts (.292/.366/.562, 16 HRs, 39 RBI)
  • SS Seager (.307/.358/.585, 15 HRs, 41 RBI)
  • 3B Turner (.307/.400.460, 4 HRs, 23 RBI)
  • 1B Muncy (.192/.331/.389, 12 HRs, 27 RBI)
  • C Smith (.289/.401/.579, 8 HRs, 25 RBI)
  • CF Bellinger (.239/.333/.455, 12 HRs, 30 RBI)
  • LF Pollock (.276/.314/.566, 16 HRs, 34 RBI)
  • 2B Taylor (.270/.366/.476, 8 HRs, 32 RBI)
  • DH Pederson (.190/.285/.397, 7 HRs, 16 RBI)

While the Braves do indeed have several extremely productive spots, there’s no question the Dodgers have the advantage with regards to overall length.

Coincidentally, Plunkett predicts that the Dodgers will claim the series in six games.

One thought on “More Thoughts on NLCS Matchup Against Braves

  1. As I look at the Dodger lineup the Muncy and Pederson batting averages just leap off the page. Luckily they both seem to be hitting batter than those averages for the playoffs and don’t seem like automatic outs.
    As far as I can tell, Fried is the only lefty starter (potential openers not included) we’re likely to face so Joc will get most of the DH time. Doc says Rios, if included on the roster, will probably only pinch hit. Not really sure why he could pinch hit but not be the DH but maybe pinch hitting indicates no more than one at bat/need to be on the basepaths per game. If that’s the case, I’m going to say what I said the other day. Give Rios one more series to recuperate, lop off Gore and Lux and go with 12 position players and 16 pitchers. No chance in hell that they’ll do it, but that’s what I would do. They didn’t use more than 11 position players in any game of the first two series. The lineup posted above plus Barnes, Kike and Beaty.

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