Dodgers Primed to Even the NLCS Behind Ryu and the Offense

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers the pitch during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Game One of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 04: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers the pitch during the sixth inning against the Atlanta Braves during Game One of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 4, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers will enter a pivotal game two of the NLCS today.  A victory would knot the series and give the Dodgers home field advantage for the remainder of the series.

The Brewers landed the first blow in the NLCS taking game one thanks to a shaky Clayton Kershaw and an even shakier Dodger defense.  The Dodgers will look to bounce back today and even up the NLCS.  This is a huge swing game since the series will either be 2-0 or all tied up at one game apiece.  Should the Dodgers win, they will have home field advantage for the remainder of the series and head back to LA all tied up.

The Dodger offense was shut down until the eighth inning last night outside of a solo homer by Manny Machado.  The offense should have much more success against Wade Miley.  As a team the Dodgers have hit six home runs against Wade Miley.  Puig is the one to watch as he is 6-17 lifetime against Miley with two home runs and a 1.051 OPS.  Puig is starting against the southpaw even though he usually doesn’t start against left-handed starters.

Matt Kemp has slugged two home runs against Miley and Machado and Freese have also gone deep against Wade Miley.  Justin Turner should have a bounce back game after he went 0-5 with four strikeouts in game one.  Turner is 3-10 lifetime against Miley and he hit .336 against left-handed pitching this season.

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On the mound the Dodgers will look for a much better outing from their starting pitcher who will be Hyun-Jin Ryu in game two.  Ryu pitched seven magnificent innings in game one of the NLDS and the Dodgers could use six plus innings from him again as they only got three innings from Kershaw last night.  Christian Yelich did go hitless yesterday so the Dodgers will look to keep the potential NL MVP in check once again.

For Hyun-Jin Ryu the key will be utilizing his changeup to keep the Brewers potent sluggers off balance.  Besides Yelich, the rest of the Brewer lineup is right-handed heavy so the changeup will be the most important weapon that Ryu must have.  The Brewers as a team hit just .234 against the changeup this season so it could be the equalizer for Ryu.

The hitter to watch will be Ryan Braun as he hit .467 against left-handed changeups this season although Ryu has one of the best changeups in the game since his changeup has some diving action to it.  Jesus Aguilar was one of the worst hitters in the Brewers’ lineup against left-handed changeups as he hit just .148 against them this season.

Next. Dodgers have plenty to be optimistic about after game one. dark

Game two is not quite a must win for the Dodgers but it is a game they would love to win.  With three big games looming in Los Angeles, heading back to Chavez Ravine tied would be a big boost to the Dodgers’ chances.  As long as the Dodger defense backs up Ryu today and the Dodgers offense can get to Miley, we should be looking at a best of five series after today.