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The Los Angeles Dodgers came through and won their 6th straight National League West Division title. The Dodgers currently hold the longest active streak of postseason appearances with 6 years in a row. This year was possibly the most satisfying and challenging season for most of the Dodger players and fans. Most fans didn’t know where the season was going at times and some fans (myself included) didn’t think the Dodgers would make the playoffs this season. I can admit that I didn’t see the Dodgers making the playoffs but whenever I criticize something about the Dodgers, somehow they manage to hear or read it and they correct the problem. Example A: The Dodgers winning the division and making the playoffs.

On Monday of this week, the baseball community got to witness history: two tie breaking Game 163’s. This was the first time this has ever happened in baseball history. Pretty interesting stuff and luckily for baseball fans, the games were competitive and enjoyable. My dad and I were lucky enough to attend the game in Los Angeles and trust me, the traffic was worth it.

While we didn’t get to our seats until the 4th inning, we didn’t miss much. Actually, we got there at the right time. Shortly after sitting down and being cranky from traffic, Cody Bellinger blasted a 2-Run Home Run to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning! As some of you know, Cody Bellinger is my favorite Dodger player and you better believe I was ecstatic after he sent that ball into orbit.

The next inning, Max Muncy homered to the opposite field to put the Dodgers up 4-0. Surely, it looked the Dodgers were hitting the nail on the coffin with that blow. The final run that scored for the Dodgers was via a Walker Buehler RBI single which scored Kiké Hernandez. Now 5-0 with Buehler cruising through the Rockies lineup, there was no way the Dodgers could let this one slip.

The only scare of the game was when Kenley Jansen came into the game for the ninth inning. During that inning, Jansen gave up a pair of Solo Home Run’s to Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. After screwing up, Jansen quickly buttoned down the hatches and completed the ninth inning. Insuring the Dodgers’ 6th straight National League West Division title.

With the Dodgers and Brewers each winning their tiebreaker game, the Chicago Cubs and the Colorado Rockies were set to square off in the National League Wild Card on Tuesday night. After thirteen long innings, the Colorado Rockies came out on top and eliminated the Chicago Cubs from the Playoffs. Now, the Rockies head to Milwaukee to face the Brewers. The Brewers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and are the favorites to win their series.

On the other side of the country, the Dodgers will host the Atlanta Braves for Games 1 & 2 of the National League Division Series. Rewind to 2013 when these two teams squared off in the first round of the playoffs and the Dodgers won. Thanks to the heroics in Game 4 when Juan Uribe hit his infamous Home Run which would eventually lead to the Dodgers winning the game and the series. That was when the Dodgers finally put the pieces together and made the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and that was also the last time the Atlanta Braves were a true threat in the National League. Now, five years later, both teams are set to square off in a best of five game series.

A handful of players from the 2013 playoff roster are still present on the Dodgers this year. Notable players include: Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Matt Kemp, Hyun Jin Ryu and Yasiel Puig.

With an almost entirely different roster besides the players mentioned above, the Dodgers are stacked and ready to make another deep playoff run. Right now, the only issue that Dave Roberts will face be the making the postseason roster. Dare I make a prediction for the roster? Of course I will because whatever I predict will surely be way off and I’ll have to write about it in my next post!

Anyways, the playoff roster will only have 25 spots available. First I’ll list the pitchers that I think will make the cut.

  1. Clayton Kershaw
  2. Hyun Jin Ryu
  3. Walker Buehler
  4. Rich Hill
  5. Alex Wood
  6. Kenley Jansen
  7. Dylan Floro
  8. Kenta Maeda
  9. Ross Stripling
  10. Caleb Ferguson
  11. Pedro Baez (BOLD PREDICTION I KNOW)
  12. Scott Alexander

Next I’ll list the position players that I believe will make it.

  1. Manny Machado
  2. Justin Turner
  3. Max Muncy
  4. Joc Pederson
  5. Cody Bellinger
  6. Yasiel Puig
  7. Yasmani Grandal
  8. Austin Barnes
  9. Matt Kemp
  10. Brian Dozier
  11. Kiké Hernandez
  12. Chris Taylor
  13. David Freese

During the playoffs I believe that we will see this lineup more often than not:

  1. Joc Pederson
  2. Justin Turner
  3. Max Muncy
  4. Manny Machado
  5. Cody Bellinger
  6. Yasmani Grandal
  7. Kiké Hernandez
  8. Yasiel Puig
  9. Pitcher

Don’t get me wrong, the other players that I predict will be on this Playoff team are worthy of being starters. I just believe that this will be the most consistent lineup that Dave Roberts will come up with. Mix and match one or two players depending on the situation or which hand the opposing pitcher throws with. Coming off the bench will be: Brian Dozier, David Freese, Chris Taylor, Matt Kemp and Austin Barnes. When you think about it, that is a solid bench to have when you’re playing in the playoffs.

The depth of the Dodgers is their biggest asset. Most teams would die to have the depth and the options that the Dodgers have on their potential playoff roster. That is what makes the Dodgers so good when it comes to the playoffs.

I believe that the Dodgers have the advantage over the Atlanta Braves mainly because the Dodgers have players that are seasoned veterans that have played in multiple playoff games and big time moments. The Atlanta Braves are a good young team but I don’t believe they have enough to win the series against the Dodgers. However, baseball is a crazy sport and literally anything can happen. With that being said, I still believe the Dodgers will win the series and move on to the second round of the playoffs.

Game 1 is tomorrow in Los Angeles and the Dodgers send Hyun Jin Ryu to the mound. Ryu has been lights out at Dodger Stadium this year and has a sub 2 ERA when pitching at home. It is understandable why you would want him to pitch in Game 1 over Kershaw. Clayton Kershaw will start Game 2 on Friday night. I like this idea because it takes some of the pressure off of Kershaw and let’s him know that the fate of the team doesn’t rest on his shoulders.

Now is the time for the Dodgers to redeem themselves and win the World Series for the first time in 30 years. It is still a long road but I believe the Dodgers will reach the Fall Classic for the second year in a row.

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