By: Ross Sutton
We are now down to just four teams in the playoffs, the Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, and Brewers. The Brewers and Dodgers will start their NLCS series Friday night in Milwaukee, as the Brewers will have home field advantage during the series. If someone told me at the beginning of the season that the Brewers were going to be in the NLCS, I would have highly doubted that, but that’s the beauty of sports, and here we are.
Despite having by far the worst starting pitching out of all the teams that are still fighting for the World Series, the Brewers are the hottest team right now, as they have won 11 straight games when counting the final few games of the regular season. The Brewers stacked bullpen and high-powered offense has carried them since the All-Star break and they will look to keep the momentum going against the defending NL champs. The Brewers will likely use the “bullpening” strategy that got them through the NLDS a few times against the Dodgers, as they simply do not have a strong starting rotation. The Brewers did sweep the Rockies though, so everyone’s arm will be well-rested going into this series. In my opinion, the biggest key for the Brewers to win this series is their offense. I think the Brewers have established that they will only give up so many runs in any single game due to their incredible bullpen, so if their offense stays hot, I like their chances to get to the World Series.
The Dodgers are an interesting team in the sense that they have seemingly cruised to the NLCS this season. Many people wrote them off in the beginning of the season due to overall poor play, but here they are, fighting for a chance to get back to the World Series. In addition, I honestly think the Dodgers might be even better this year than they were last year. I think Walker Buehler is a stud, and better than Yu Darvish, giving the Dodgers a great one-two punch with Kershaw and Buehler. They also have a very steady bullpen to compliment their starting rotation. Oh and they also acquired Manny Machado since last year’s World Series, making their offense scarier than ever. Now in order to be completely transparent, I must warn everyone that I haven’t correctly predicted a winner of a playoff series yet (Yankees in 4 and Rockies in 4) but what fun would this be without making a pick so here goes nothing.
Final Prediction: Dodgers in 6
It honestly comes down to one factor for me and it’s that the Brewers don’t have any starting pitching compared to the Dodgers and I think that will be hard for them to overcome.
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