The NL Road to the World Series
With the NL Division series getting underway, we are now going to give you our road to the World Series in the National League. Let’s break down each series all the way up to the World Series.
Braves vs. Brewers
This series is going to be a good matchup between two very evenly matched teams. The season’s series ended in a 3-3 tie, but here there must be a winner. The Braves have been here for what seems like an eternity, and making the playoffs is almost a given each year. Their young ace went down early in the season. Nothing changed. They still won the division and are in the hunt again for another World Series title. Looking at Milwaukee, I don’t really love what I saw to end the season. We saw a lot of .500 baseball, and they struggled against teams with winning records, specifically teams that they will need to beat in the playoffs if they want to win the World Series. The Brewers were 4-6 over their last 10 games of the season and, even more concerning; they are heading into this series after losing four straight games to finish the season. Their pitching started to fall apart, as they allowed six or more runs in five of their last 10 games. The offense struggled some as well; they only scored over three runs in four of their last 10. Atlanta was in a race with Philadelphia up until the last week of the season, but Atlanta rolled over their competition. Atlanta finished 8-2 over their last 10 games. This rotation for the Braves is not overly impressive. They are one of those gritty teams that find ways to win. A perfect example is their last 10 games of the season. When they needed the wins, they got them. That is what is going to happen in this series as well. The Braves will advance in this one.
Dodgers vs. Giants
This series is going to be an all-out war. The games that were played during the regular season were great, and I expect the ones in this series to be even better. The Giants were able to hold on to a one-game lead in the season series and beat the Dodgers 10-9. This Giants team was the best in baseball, and it showed as they were in the top five in almost every category across the board. The pitching battles in this series are going to be some of the best we will see throughout the playoffs. The Dodgers had the best bullpen in baseball, combined with the guy who led the majors in wins this season and two other all-stars. The Giants also have their own set of arms that are no joke. Game one starter Logan Webb has been amazing for the Giants this season, and as a result, the Giants are an unreal 21-5 in games that Webb starts. What worries me about the Dodgers is that their offense gets into ruts and cannot produce enough runs. In six of the last 10 head-to-head games with the Giants, the Dodgers have scored three runs or less. It will be the Giants time to advance here.
Giants vs. Braves
This season’s series was actually tied as well at three games each. I can see the Braves actually putting up the same type of fight the Dodgers are going to give the Giants in the first round. The obvious discrepancy here is the starting pitching. The Braves had some late additions to the starting rotation that were able to fill in nicely, but two of them have ERA’s approaching five and Charlie Morton is a “hit or miss” pitcher. For the young guys in this setting, the lights are going to be just a little bit too bright, and the Giants will roll into the World Series as your NL champs.