National League Championship Series Preview
The Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71) are in the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive year, facing the NL Central division winner, Milwaukee Brewers, who finished with the best record in the National League (96-67) and has home field advantage throughout this series.
The Brewers hadn’t made the playoffs since 2011, when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS 4-2. Since then, they’ve finished third or fourth in their division. However, last season they finished second and we saw a bit of what they had in store for this year. The credit is given to general manager David Stearns, who has helped the Brewers increase the win total each of the last three years. Stearns also played a huge role in the moves the Brewers made this past offseason.
Milwaukee signed All-Star outfielder Lorenzo Cain to a five-year contract and acquired outfielder Christian Yelich in a trade with Miami. Yelich is finally in a place where he could be himself, and by that I mean the NL MVP. He has continuously put up the numbers to help the Brewers in the quest of their first ever World Series title.
The Brewers also signed starting pitchers Wade Miley, Jhoulys Chacín, and Gio Gonzalez. They also agreed to a two-year contract extension with starting pitcher Chase Anderson. Let’s not forget they still have the third baseman, Travis Shaw. They also acquired Mike Moustakas from Kansas City and moved Shaw to second base.
After a sweep against the Colorado Rockies, the Brewers turn their attention to the World Series runner-up and look for their first title.
Los Angeles’ Return
The Los Angeles Dodgers went swing for swing with the reigning champions Houston Astros, only to lose during game 7 of the World Series. It has been 30 years since the Dodgers last won the World Series title, and though they did not finish as the No. 1 team in the league, they turned it on late and got hot enough to win the division for the sixth straight year. Manager Dave Roberts and the Dodgers’ organization knew how close they were to winning their seventh World Series title.
They let the world know they were coming when they acquired SS Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles for five prospects. That wasn’t the only acquisition the Dodgers made in their return to the top of the mountain.
They also acquired 2B Brian Dozier from the Minnesota Twins and 1B/3B David Freese from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Let’s not forget about the emergence of utility guys Max Muncy and Chris Taylor.
These were much-needed acquisitions for the Dodgers after losing 2016 NL Rookie of the Year, Corey Seager for the season with Tommy John surgery. They still have the 2017 NL Rookie of the Year, Cody Bellinger, who was used as a utility player last year, but played most of the time in the outfield.
Regardless of missing one of their best sluggers, the Dodgers found a way to replace him.
With the new acquisitions and young talent comes the old veterans like Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, and Yasmani Grandal. The Dodgers look to continue to have the hot bats adding in with the pitchers like southpaws Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Rich Hill that shut down the Atlanta Braves 3-1 in the NLDS.
The Prediction: Los Angeles in Seven
Dodgers were one of the favorites to win the National League when the season began, and they got off to a slow start and were plagued by injuries that slowed them down. But they managed to get by and make it into the postseason while getting healthier and stronger in the process.
Though the Brewers made the right moves to make themselves a contender, they will fall short of their chance and continue their drought of not having a World Series win.
To me, the Dodgers are just the better overall team. Even without the acquisition of Machado, they would have still made it to where they are now. Their depth at each position and in the bullpen is just more experienced than the Brewers as a team, and that is why we will see that Dodgers in the World Series again!