The Los Angeles Dodgers won the NL West and will finish the season as the No. 2 seed in the National League. The Dodgers will await the winner of the tilt between the third-seeded Milwaukee Brewers and the sixth seed, which will either be the Arizona Diamondbacks (the current No. 6 seed) or the Miami Marlins.
Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have arguably been the best duo in the majors this year, and there does not seem to be an answer to prevent their offense from exploding in the postseason. Surprising revelations like James Outman and Jason Heyward must continue their resurgence if the Dodgers have any hopes of winning the World Series. The major struggles of some of the powerhouses in the American League, along with the key losses of the Atlanta Braves, are giving Los Angeles a glimmer of hope despite their lack of elite starting pitching. Relying on Clayton Kershaw, Lance Lynn, and Bobby Miller as the top guys in their starting rotation is not the most ideal thing in the world, so let's see what will occur in La La Land.
While waiting for their opponent in the best-of-five NLDS, the Dodgers must wish for this scenario to occur in their postseason run.
Diamondbacks beat Brewers in grueling series
Since the Wild Card Round is a best-of-three battle, the best-case scenario is for it to reach Game 3, so Los Angeles will have additional rest time for their veterans. The Brewers are the more experienced bunch of individuals as they have gone against the Dodgers numerous times over the last couple of years. The Dodgers have come out on top, but this iteration of L.A. is not as deep as the previous rosters.
Milwaukee's quartet of Corbin Burnes, Wade Miley, Brandon Woodruff, and Freddy Peralta is arguably one of the best starting rotations in MLB. Since the biggest asset of the Dodgers is their offense, it would be tough for them to topple the Brewers in several low-scoring contests. The likes of Walker Buehler and Julio Urias are missing for the Dodgers, which will be magnified if they face an organization like Milwaukee in a tight series.
The better matchup for the Dodgers is to face a young and upstart franchise like the Diamondbacks (the Marlins also fit in this category). Even if the Dodgers may have trouble keeping the Diamondbacks off the scoreboard, Los Angeles has the experience and patience that will stand out in the latter innings of these critical contests. The Dodgers have a loaded lineup that's no stranger to playoff pressure, so they should be able to put runs on the board, even against quality Diamondbacks pitching.
Veterans like Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly have been producing stellar numbers, but pitting thems against this Dodgers lineup will be a nightmare for manager Torey Lovullo. From an objective point of view, the Dodgers may finish off Arizona in three or four games, but if they clash with the Milwaukee Brewers, it will likely reach the maximum of five games.
In Game 5, anything can happen as any squad has a 50/50 chance of advancing to the NLCS. The Dodgers will reach 100 victories once again if they win at San Francisco on Sunday, so an early exit in the NLDS would be especially tough to swallow after falling short last season despite winning 111 games.