MLB: NLDS – Dodgers vs Diamondbacks Preview and Prediction

So now that we have those silly wild card games in the rear view, it’s time to get down to business in the MLB playoffs as the division series get underway. As day two of divisional play ramps up, it’s the National League’s turn to get their party started.

 

National League Division Series 

Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58, NL #1 seed) vs Arizona Diamondbacks (93-69, NL #4 seed) 

Pitching probables:

Game 1: Clayton Kershaw (LAD) vs Taijuan Walker (AZ)

Game 2: Rich Hill (LAD) vs TBD (AZ)

 Game 3: Yu Darvish (LAD) vs TBD (AZ)

Game 4: Alex Wood (LAD) vs TBD (AZ) *if necessary

Game 5: TBD (LAD) vs TBD (AZ) *if necessary

 

As we mentioned back in our NL Wild Card preview, the West was brutal this year, and that season long battle will culminate in the second NLDS as the Dodgers and Diamondbacks face off with a trip to the NLCS on the line. The Dodgers lead all of baseball with 104 wins, and that’s even more amazing considering their brutal month of September. During one stretch, they lost 11 in a row and went 12-17 overall for the month. They did rebound at the end though, going 8-2 in their last 10 and come into the postseason playing pretty good baseball.

Acquiring Yu Darvish at the trade deadline cemented the Dodgers staff as the scariest in the NL and it’s truly difficult to really find many flaws with this club, despite how hard we tried. The back end of the bullpen is really good as well, and Kenley Jansen is probably the best closer in the game currently. Clayton Kershaw could use to shake off the perception that he’s a postseason choker, but we’re picking nits now.

But all is not lost for the Diamondbacks, as they’re pretty good in their own right. Personally, I think they’re the second best team in the NL and would have won the East or Central, but alas that’s not where they play. They finished 2nd to the Dodgers in team ERA in the NL, and their offense can score in bunches.

Their starting rotation isn’t nearly as formidable though, or experienced, and if they lose this series that will likely be their ultimate downfall. To have a real shot, they’re going to need Zack Greinke to be the ace that they’re paying him to be, which is a far cry from what he delivered in the Diamondbacks Wild Card game win.

We see this as a hard fought series, but the Dodgers simply have too much talent and experience in the rotation to lose. Arizona will take the Dodgers to the brink, but LA is cash money at home and that’s where game five will be decided.

 

Los Angeles wins 3-2, advances to NLCS

 

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