Dodgers vs. Brewers Preview

We’re here, and it is really happening. After all the uncertainty to start the year, baseball playoffs have arrived. The bubbles are set. Their will be a 2020 World Series Champion.

The Dodgers finished the year as the number 1 seed in all of baseball securing “home field” advantage throughout the playoffs no matter what. Even though they’ll be spending the entire postseason in Arlington at the Ranger’s brand new Globe Life Field.

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And the Dodgers come into the postseason as the number 1 favorites to win their first World Series since 1988. Their odds are currently +325 vs the next best Rays at +600. Followed by the Yankees at +650, and then the drop-off begins at the Twins +1000.

So first up for the Dodgers is the number 8 seed Brewers. So join us as we break down which team has the advantage at every position. And bear with us if you don’t agree with where we put a particular Dodger. We know they shuffle every day, and mid game, but this is our ideal starting lineup and reserves. We also made sure to not count anyone twice even though most players may play multiple positions.

Catching

Dodgers: Will Smith, Austin Barnes, (Keibert Ruiz?)

Brewers: Omar Narváez, Jacob Nottingham

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The Dodgers have Walker Buehler pitching game 1, but we think that has more to do with Smith than anything else. Barnes is Kershaw’s catcher of choice. We saw this before with AJ Ellis and Grandal. Kershaw likes to have his catcher back there even if it comes at the expense of the offense.

So with the importance of game 1, Buehler pitching allows Smith to play possibly all 3 games if needed. He’s possibly the best offensive Catcher in baseball, and definitely the best of the catchers in the postseason.

It doesn’t matter that the Brewer’s starting catcher is only OPSing .562. (Even a pitcher wouldn’t feel good hitting that) Or that the back up is hitting below .200. The Dodgers will have an advantage over every catching tandem they face. In this case their advantage is drastic.

Huge Advantage: Dodgers

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1st Base

Dodgers: Max Muncy

Brewers: Jedd Gyorko, Daniel Vogelbach

Normally, we’d give Max Muncy the advantage here, but he just hasn’t been the Funky Muncy he has been these last two years. He still hit for power, finishing the year with 12 homers, but he hit a mere .192. His OPS was saved by a .331 OBP, but walks aren’t as helpful for guys who aren’t a threat on the base path.

Meanwhile Gyorko is having a minor resurgence finishing the year with a .838 OPS and 121 OPS+. And Daniel Vogelbach got back on track with the Brewers for some reason he couldn’t elsewhere. He slashed .328/.418/.569 in 19 games.

So even though Muncy could get hot and win a series himself, the advantage has to go to the Brewers and their guys who have steadily produced.

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Slight Advantage: Brewers

2nd Base

Dodgers: Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux

Brewers: Keston Hiura

This is essentially the 1st base argument in reverse. Hiura is a super start when right, but for some reason he’s slumped this year. He also maintained his power though with 13 homers, which was more his saving grace than walks. He was basically a 3 true outcome player, which can be useful, but the Brewers need him to be closer to his potential. Overall, just a huge disappointment for what is a promising young 23 year old.

As for the Dodgers, they were also disappointed with their young 2nd base superstar. It was Lux’s position to lose, and unfortunately he did. If he’s on the postseason roster, it will likely be to only face righties and Taylor will probably be in Left.

But Taylor was the 2017 breakout star version of himself this year. He started slow but he finished hot. In September he slashed .296/.374/.617 with 6 of his 8 home runs for the year.

So unless Hiura turns it on, the Dodgers have a slight advantage even if Lux starts at second for the righties in games 1 and 2.

Slight Advantage: Dodgers

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Shortstop

Dodgers: Corey Seager, Kike Hernandez

Brewers: Orlando Arcia

For what it’s worth Arcia is decent with bat, and better with the glove than Seager, but we won’t even spend long on this one. Seager is having an MVP caliber year at the plate. He’s been consistent pretty much all year long. Obviously he could still somehow go 0-12 in a short 3 game series like this, but Seager has only slumped that bad maybe once or twice this year.

Chances are he’ll have at least a couple hits this series and a lot of chances with runners on at the top of the Dodgers lineup.

Huge Advantage: Dodgers

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3rd Base

Dodgers: Justin Turner, Edwin Rios

Brewers: Luis Urias, Eric Sogard

3rd base is the weakest position for the Brewers. Both their guys are batting well below average almost across the board. Both are OPSing around .600.

Whereas the Dodgers will most likely have Turner go out for the full Series. A talented veteran with loads of postseason success.

He finished the year hitting .307/.400/.460. He only had 4 homers but he is typically a late bloomers. And two of those came from 9/25 against the Angels. In his last 7 games of the season he slashed .381/.458/.762. He’s ready.

Huge Advantage: Dodgers

Outfield

Dodgers: AJ Pollock, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts

Brewers: Christian Yelich, Avisaíl García, Jace Peterson

Again we won’t waste much time. The Dodgers have the best outfield in baseball. Yes, Bellinger has slumped. But about the same as Yelich. They famously have about the same floor and ceiling. So that leaves the Brewers to compete with MVP candidate Mookie Betts, and comeback player of the year AJ Pollock.

Huge Advantage: Dodgers

Designated Hitter

Dodgers: Joc Pederson

Brewers: Ryan Braun

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Braun has been good endnote great across the board this year. Unfortunately for Joc he’s been more bad than good. Both players have big swing potential, but we give the edge the veteran Braun who seems to have a higher floor than Joc, even though Joc has more upside.

Advantage: Brewers

Starting Pitcher 1

Dodgers: Walker Buehler

Brewers: Brandon Woodruff

Both are hard throwing right handers with good ERAs and a lot of strikeouts for their innings pitched. Buehler has a higher ceiling but has been limited all year with a reoccurring blister. Game 1 should be decided by the offenses.

Toss Up

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Starting Pitcher 2

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw

Brewers: Adrian Houser

No competition here. Kershaw has risen again. He’ll finish top 10 in Cy Young voting this year and has honestly looked his best since arguably 2014. The Dodgers put him in the game 2 spot, because it is arguably the most important game of the series no matter what.

Advantage: Dodgers

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Starting Pitcher 3 (If Needed)

Dodgers: Julio Urias, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin

Brewers: Brett Anderson

The Dodgers have 3 options that are better than Brett Anderson. It’s not that he’s bad, but he relies on a lot of ground balls and the Dodgers were the number one home run hitting team. Although Anderson finished on a strong note.

Advantage Dodgers

Go To Bullpen

Dodgers: Blake Treinen, Dylan Floro, Brusdar Graterol, Jake McGee, Victor Gonzales, Adam Kolarek

Brewers: Brent Suter, Devin Williams, Eric Yardley, Alex Claudio, Freddy Peralta, David Phelps

Treinen is deadly when he’s got control, but when he doesn’t it’s scary.. But other than him the Dodgers pretty much have arm after arm of guys you trust to put up a 0 almost every outing. The Dodgers could literally start only bullpen pitchers in game 3 and be fine.

Still the Brewers probably have the most talented pitcher in both bullpens in Devin Williams. In 27 IP he has a 0.33 ERA with 53 strikeouts (Roughly 2 K’s/Inning).

Between him, Hader, Phelps, and Yardley the Brewers can lock down a lead after 5 innings.

Slight Advantage: Dodgers

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Closer

Dodgers: Kenley Jansen

Brewers: Josh Hader

Both of these pitchers have been the best reliever in MLB at separate times. Neither is still that, but both are still upper echelon closers. Hader gave up 8 runs on the year but 6 of those came in 2 appearances. Otherwise he was his typical self.

And Jansen was relatively the same with 9 earned runs on the year and 7 of them coming in 2 appearances. But he also gave up 2 more unearned runs bring his total to 11 this year. Both blew 2 saves this year, but Hader had 13 total to Jansen’s 11.

Slight Advantage: Brewers

Conclusion

Overall we see the Dodgers winning this series in 2. If the Brewers still had breakout stud, Corbin Burnes we’d say they’d have a real shot at stealing the series, but sadly it’s unlikely he would even be back in time for the World Series if they made it that far.

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