2. Travis d’Arnaud
The Dodgers can’t let Travis d’Arnaud continue his insane hot streak.
Travis d’Arnaud spent a hot second with the Dodgers in 2019 before he was let go, and while that’s not a regrettable move given how Will Smith and Austin Barnes have performed, it does create a revenge sub-plot for the Braves catcher, who had a historic NLDS against the Miami Marlins.
There are enough hitters to worry about in the Braves’ lineup, from Ronald Acuña to Freddie Freeman to Marcell Ozuna. Allowing d’Arnaud to even produce at half the rate he is now could kill LA. He’s batting .421 with a 1.342 OPS, two doubles, two home runs and seven RBI in five games this postseason.
If the Braves are getting that kind of production from d’Arnaud and he’s managing to bail out the aforementioned sluggers, the Dodgers will be in for a true punch-for-punch NLCS, which may not play into their hands given Walker Buehler’s blister issues and the bullpen’s overall struggles.
At the end of the day, the Dodgers will have to eat a big series from Freeman, Acuña or Ozuna, but one from d’Arnaud can change everything and put LA in a precarious situation. Don’t let him be the Howie Kendrick of last year.