Dodgers Beat Brewers; Will Face Padres in NLDS
Well, this sort of felt inevitable. After sweeping the Brewers in the Wild Card Round, the Dodgers will "host' the Padres at Globe Life Field on Tuesday in a best of 5 series.
The Dodgers beat the Brewers in the same way that they won all year: riding Betts, Seager, and Kershaw. Taylor, Buehler, and Urias all had good showings as well, with Buehler looking dominant and healthy, although I doubt he goes more than 5 innings in his start tomorrow just to keep him that way. The offense was pitched to really well by the Brewers, so I'm not super worried about how they'll perform against familiar Padres pitching, but they're going to need to keep scoring at least 4-5 runs a game.
Buehler and Kershaw will go Games 1 and 2 for LA, with some combination of Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Julio Urias to follow, although Urias might piggyback Buehler again in Game 1. The Padres are very short in their rotation, as Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger are hurt and while they might return for the series, they aren't very built up. Their bullpen was super overworked in the Wild Card Round, so hopefully that will play to the Dodgers' advantage.
The Padres lineup is good, obviously, but they didn't really hit except for in about 4 innings in the Wild Card Round, and the Dodgers have done a pretty solid job of handling them throughout the year. The bullpen had been dominant and is rested. As long as the Dodgers don't let guys get on for Tatis and Machado, they should be fine.
This is a series the Dodgers should win, and I think they do it in 5, just because of their pitching. I think the Dodgers will be better at stringing together hits than the Padres, something crucial at a pitcher's park. I also think the Padres' pitching is overtaxed and full of question marks aside from a few guys. Similarly, I just think the Dodgers are going to take care of business. This feels like the year, and I think they know and want it. The guys are uber-focused and more experienced than the Padres, making them less likely to make mistakes.
Dodgers in 4. However, that being said, I think it'll be a close 4, and the Padres aren't going to go down easily.