The Los Angeles Dodgers have taken their season to a new level in the month of August. So far, they are 19-3 and have improved in essentially every aspect of the game they once struggled with since April. They look like a complete team that can make it all the way to the World Series.
The Dodgers biggest problem, however, is the other powerhouse in the National League, the Atlanta Braves, who have an 82-44 record -- four ahead of the Dodgers for the top seed. On top of just having an overall better record, Atlanta has been more consistent throughout 2023.
But how you play in October is all that matters, and the Dodgers are gearing up for just that. It seems as if these two teams are destined to face each other in the NLCS, which, for a few reasons, could be the best playoff series baseball fans can ask for in 2023.
The potential third chapter of the 2020s (to follow up 2020 and 2021) would absolutely be must-see TV.
3 reasons the Dodgers and Braves make for primetime playoff series
As much as some baseball fans love a good low-scoring game where two starting pitchers are duking it out, offense is still king for the best teams out there. You guessed it: the Dodgers and Braves are tops, too. The Braves average an MLB-best 5.78 runs per game, while the Dodgers sit at third in with 5.56 runs per game. The Braves also lead the league in home runs; the Dodgers are second.. No matter how you like your offense, a potential matchup between the Braves and Dodgers can give it to you in all shapes and forms.
Now, where does all this firepower come from? It’s the star players on each of these teams. They hold some of the most recognizable names in the entire sport, like Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Matt Olson -- and that's only the beginning. The Dodgers and Braves had a combined 13 All-Stars this season. This series would be loaded with household names who are some of the most exciting players to watch. And, if you want to see world class pitching, some of those All-Stars include Clayton Kershaw and Spencer Strider.
But it isn’t just the stars that should excite you about this series. You have players like David Peralta, who have seemingly been revived, or Kiké Hernández, who, the last time he was in the playoffs with the Red Sox in 2021, went on one of the best runs anybody's ever seen. Whether it’s a star player or someone who can get scorching hot at any moment, these teams offer talent from top to bottom.
Since 2018, the Dodgers and Braves have faced each other three times in the playoffs, with the Dodgers winning two of the three series. It’s a matchup with some recent playoff history that has always provided great baseball to watch. But the history can also be traced back to the players.
Freddie Freeman would get another chance to play against his former team in the playoffs, but so would Jason Heyward, who spent the first five years of his career with the Braves and was even a part of the 2013 NLDS against the Dodgers. It’s worth noting that the Dodgers ended up winning that series, too.
It truly doesn't matter what kind of baseball fan you are; this series will have something for you, which is just good for the sport. If these two teams are to meet in the NLCS, it'll probably be more competitive than the World Series.