Dodgers: Too Early to Think About the NLDS?
By Drew Gabruch
With little over a month left in the 2017 regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers seem to be cruising to a fifth straight NL West title. No team has caused large amounts of trouble for this year’s club, but as it is commonly known, the postseason is a very different time.
From a fair perspective, anything can happen from now until the end of the season. However, the Dodgers haven’t exactly played bad baseball all year. It just might be time to break down the key players from potential playoff opponents.
As it stands right now, the Dodgers – who are most likely to finish with the best record in the National League (and MLB) – would face off against the winner of the one game Wild-Card contest. The Wild-Card race (featuring the top five teams in contention) includes two NL West teams; the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
They both hold down the number one and two spots, respectively. Beyond the strong West Division, the Milwaukee Brewers are only separated by three and a half games from the Colorado Rockies. The Miami Marlins have also been putting pressure on a late-season push and have been slugging their way through the second half. Led by Giancarlo Stanton’s power surge, the Marlins are currently a full game back of the Brew Crew. Finally, the featured-five includes the forever relentless’ St. Louis Cardinals; currently sitting six games back of the Rockies, and holding a .500 record.
All five teams who are in the postseason hunt have given the Dodgers some difficulty in past seasons; some even this year. When it comes to figuring these teams out though, Los Angeles seems to prevail – keeping in-mind that their most recent series loss (to the Brewers) was their first series loss since early June. The Diamondbacks, Rockies, Brewers, Marlins, and Cardinals have all been playing good second-half baseball, and it is expected that they will carry that into a tight race to the finish line in October.