At long last, the MLB postseason baseball is upon us. The second NLDS game this year is a contest between NL wild card Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams represent the NL West division and the fact that these teams have faced each other 19 times this season should lead to a very competitive series.
The Dodgers’ 2017 regular season ended with a record of 104-58 as they clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Earlier this season, the Dodgers were on pace to break the all-time record for wins in a single season before losing 11 straight games in early September. The Dodgers success is due to the two-headed monster in their rotation including Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood. This combo has a combined record of 34-7 this season and will need to pitch extremely well to slow down this phenomenal Diamondbacks’ lineup. Kershaw will take the mound for game one and is expected to exercise some of his postseason demons. This season, Kershaw had an earned run average of 2.31 and had a record of 18-4. Kershaw has also had tremendous success against the Diamondbacks this season with a 0.59 earned run average and a 2-0 record. If the Dodgers manage to make their first World Series appearance since 1988, Kershaw will have to be at his best.
The Diamondbacks earned the right to play the Dodgers in the NLDS after defeating the Colorado Rockies 11-8 in the wild card game. However, the Diamondbacks had to use their ace Zack Greinke which means that he will be unavailable to pitch for the first few games of the series. Instead, Arizona is sending out Taijuan Walker to pitch game one in Los Angeles. This season, Walker went 9-9 with an earned run average of 3.49. The Diamondbacks are expecting a lot out of Walker considering his average statistics and his lack of postseason experience. If the Diamondbacks plan on winning game one, Walker will need to go at least six innings to protect their inconsistent bullpen from being exposed.
As for the lineups, I have to side with the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks have two elite hitters in the core of the lineup in Goldschmidt and Martinez who have the ability to win games by themselves. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt had 36 home runs this season along with 120 runs batted in and even hit a three-run home run against the Rockies in the wild card game. Batting right behind him is outfielder J.D. Martinez who hit 45 home runs this season along with 104 runs batted in. In addition to these two power hitters, the Diamondbacks also have Jake Lamb who had 105 runs batted in this season who had four hits in the wild card game on Wednesday. Overall, Arizona’s lineup is stronger and deeper that Los Angeles’.
As for predictions, I am going to side with the Dodgers in game one. The Dodgers won 57 out of their 81 home games this season and I expect the Dodgers to come out swinging tonight. I also have very little faith in Walker tonight due to his recent struggles and the fact that this is his first career postseason start. I expect Kershaw to be a little shaky but serviceable as the Dodgers take a 1-0 lead in the series
As for score, I will take the Dodgers by a score of 8-5.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers: Game Time, TV Channel & Viewing Details
Event: Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers
Date: Friday, October 6, 2017
Start Time: 10:30 P.M. EST
Location: Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California
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