Once again, my apologies for the lack of posting throughout this month. School has recently started and my usual days for writing are all mixed up now. Anyways, I will work to fix this problem and get back to posting regularly.
The final week of the 2018 Major League Baseball regular season is here. Starting today, the Dodgers only have seven games left and today is their final home game of the season. For those that don’t know, the Dodgers have a 1.5 game lead on the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National League West Division. The Rockies are right there with the Dodgers and it is vital that the Dodgers win as many of their remaining seven games as possible if they want to secure their sixth straight division championship.
If you would’ve asked me throughout this whole month if I thought the Dodgers were going to make the playoffs, I wouldn’t have been able to give you a straight or solid answer. I was just too unsure. I still am to a certain degree but I am gaining more and more confidence in this Dodgers team. If they do manage to win the division, it will have been a great cinderella story for this team. Although the story wouldn’t be complete unless they win the World Series. Nonetheless, this season has had lots of ups and downs throughout.
Let’s take a look at what has been going on in the month of September.
Yasiel Puig is supplying the power. The Wild Horse is hitting Home Run’s all over the place and put that on display last weekend when the Dodgers were in St. Louis. Puig managed to crush 5 Home Run’s in the matter of 2 days! He set a career high on Sunday when he hit 3 in one game. As a result of bashing the ball that good, Puig was named National League Player of the Week.
The Pitching is going off. Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and the plethora of Dodger pitchers are bringing their A-game and pitching effectively when it counts. So far this month, the Dodgers have won every start that Rich Hill has pitched. Which by the way, Rich Hill is the first Dodger pitcher to reach the 10 win’s mark. That just shows how up and down the pitching staff has been this whole season. Anyways, with Maeda and Wood in the bullpen, that leaves Stripling and Ryu in the back end of the rotation. I like Ryu pitching in front of Stripling in the playoffs however. Ryu has been lights out all season, especially at home where he owns a 1.32 ERA. Dominance.
As I said, Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw are leading the way in the top of the Dodgers rotation. Buehler’s last start was arguably one of his best as he struck out 12 batters over seven innings. When the playoffs get here, I imagine that the rotation will be:
- Clayton Kershaw, for obvious reasons.
- Walker Buehler, the kid loves the big moment and has the stuff.
- Rich Hill, his September surge will continue and he will drop the curve on everyone.
- Hyun-Jin Ryu, especially if he is pitching at Dodger Stadium.
- Ross Stripling, he’s still working his way back to full health after being on the Disabled List.
For Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ross Stripling, I’m sure Dave Roberts will play that by year. It will on depend on the numbers and who did better against *insert team* in the regular season. As for the other three pitchers I mentioned, you can count on seeing them lead the Dodgers in the playoffs.
I don’t like when I take forever to release a new post because then I have so much information to talk about and my mind wanders through all of it. My own doing though, can’t complain too much, Jack.
My prediction for the starting lineup in the playoffs is as follows:
- Joc Pederson, Left Field
- Justin Turner, Third Base
- Manny Machado, Shortstop
- Max Muncy, First Base
- Cody Bellinger, Center Field
- Brian Dozier, Second Base
- Yasmani Grandal, Catcher
- Yasiel Puig, Right Field
Of course, we may see this lineup a few times throughout the playoffs but it will most likely be different every game since Dave Roberts loves to do that kind of stuff. However, I have noticed that this lineup scores runs and has scored runs lots of times throughout the second half. I’m sure if this was the solid and regular lineup, this team would be able to hurt the opposition all the time.
My bench players for the playoffs would include:
- Matt Kemp
- Kike Hernandez
- Chris Taylor
- David Freese
- Austin Barnes
I can see the Dodgers opting to have a bigger bench than a bigger bullpen as their bullpen is not as good as it was last season. In addition to that, Roberts is always changing the lineups so it makes sense to have a few options here and there that can play multiple positions. We know that Chris Taylor and Kiké can play middle infield and all three outfield spots. David Freese can play first base and third, although he will likely be limited to a pinch hitting role in the playoffs. Matt Kemp is there because of the amazing comeback season that he has achieved this year.
There are too many options to pick from when it comes to the bullpen but I can say for sure that Caleb Ferguson, Kenley Jansen and Kenta Maeda will be on the playoff roster. The rest is all up the air at the moment.
Now if the Dodgers can go into Arizona for this three game series and continue to beat them, I believe the Dodgers will win the division. I feel like they can’t win the series, the Rockies just might sneak in and steal the show from the Dodgers. Regardless, this week will surely be one fun week in baseball!
Let’s Go Dodgers!