By Rob Schardt
Two teams, with two different expectations heading into the season. The Dodgers, coming off a World Series loss, seemed poised to get back to the same position as they were a year ago. A team stashed with talent all over the field and money that flows like an endless river. Then you have the Braves, who finished third in the NL East last season, with a lot of question marks around them. All baseball fans knew they had young talent, but would it live up to the hype?
It took the Dodgers until game 163 to capture their 6th straight division title, but now they look to be locked in and ready to go. It is no surprise this team is stacked with pitching, especially when they have the best pitcher in baseball, in Clayton Kershaw. Walker Buehler burst onto the scene this season and after his Wild Card game performance, best of luck to whoever faces him. The Dodgers lineup is also one that should not be messed with. From top to bottom they have players who put the ball in play and force pitchers to work. Yasiel Puig has been hot as of late and should not be taken lightly. Of course when Manny Machado is in your lineup it is always important to pitch carefully to him. Bringing in players like Machado and Brian Dozier will make any team better, especially when supply power and solid defense. For the Dodgers to win this series, they need to put runs across and have their pitching take over the game, especially their bullpen.
It took the 2018 season to realize the Braves are a lethal team, stacked with young talent. Players like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna, are some of the top talent in the league and Acuna especially looks to be the next big star in baseball. Veterans Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis center this lineup and give this already dangerous lineup even more fire power. The one player the Braves will most likely miss, is shortstop Dansby Swanson. Swanson partially tore a ligament in his left hand in an at-bat vs Noah Syndergaard on September 24th. If he doesn’t play, the team will certainly miss his bat, but more important his defense. The Braves pitching has been a bit of a surprise this year, especially with the break out season Mike Foltynewicz had. Their starters will eat up innings and their bullpen has some strong arms, but may be a major question mark going forward.
I believe this series will be very exciting, especially with the amount of talent and young stars in this series. It will be must see baseball when every game is on TV and I expect it to be a back and forth series. In the end I do expect the Dodgers to win this series due to the amount of great players they have, especially pitching. Either way, its post season baseball, so let’s sit back and enjoy the show.
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