While many thought the NLCS roster of the Dodgers would be almost identical to the squad which captured the Division Series in a three-game sweep over the Diamondbacks, the club announced several changes on Saturday morning, most notably the exclusion of shortstop Corey Seager, who has been suffering from back problems.
The Dodgers have finally clinched the division, and are one win away from reaching 100 wins this season. Their PECOTA projections was 98 wins, so in that respect they have exceeded expectations. What was not expected, however, is the makeup of the roster heading into the playoffs.
In just a little under three weeks, the Dodgers will embark on yet another postseason journey, with this year’s aspirations the highest they’ve been in recent years. The Los Angeles management crew will certainly have a difficult task in store when assembling the club’s prospective playoff roster, as a number of different factors will come into play for the squad selected to begin the NLDS on October 6.
Being that the San Francisco Giants have resided in the cellar of the National League West for almost the entirety of the season, coupled with the fact that they are only a few games away from the Philadelphia Phillies for having the worst record in all of baseball, one would have presumed that a three-game series at AT&T Park was just what the doctor ordered to ease the Los Angeles Dodgers out of perhaps one of their worst team slumps in decades.
While there’s been very heavy speculation lately about the effectiveness of the Dodgers‘ most common batting orders, there’s little guarantee that moving around several regular pieces will make a huge difference in the overall potency of the offense. The same can be said about moving up right fielder Yasiel Puig in the lineup—he’s definitely thrived in the lower part of the order, but when given the chance to hit in the middle, hasn’t made much of a notable difference at all.
During the middle contest of a three-game series against the Padres last weekend, we noted a statistic on Twitter about how the No. 5 hole in the Dodgers lineup has been the least productive of all the spots in the batting order this season, excluding the No. 9 slot.