It’s an all-NL West affair in the second National League Division Series as the wild-card Arizona Diamondbacks face the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record in baseball this season. L.A. is a solid series favourite at Sports Interaction.
Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Game 1: Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles Series Line: TBA
National League Division Series Odds
By the time these division rivals take the field Friday night, the two ALDS series will be through two games. The Dodgers won’t ever admit this, but they likely were rooting for Colorado to beat Arizona in the wild-card game as the Diamondbacks were 11-8 against the Dodgers this year, outscored them a combined 99-71 and won the final six games in the series.
Los Angeles is the +125 pennant favorite and Arizona the +450 long shot.
The Diamondbacks are in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and had one of the biggest turnarounds in baseball this year under first-year manager Torey Lovullo as they were 69-93 last season but flipped that record in 2017. Arizona beat visiting Colorado in one of the better wild-card games since their inception, 11-8. The biggest hit? A two-run triple by relief pitcher Archie Bradley! Arizona had four triples overall, the most by any team in a playoff game in 114 years. The only negative about Wednesday was that the Diamondbacks used their two best starting pitchers in former Dodger Zack Greinke and lefty Robbie Ray, the latter in relief. So neither will be available for Game 1 against the Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks have two NL MVP candidates in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (who hit a three-run homer Wednesday) and outfielder J.D. Martinez. Goldschmidt hit .297 with 36 HRs and 120 RBIs. Martinez was acquired from the Tigers in mid-July and was one of the NL’s best offensive players from that point on, hitting .302 with 29 homers and 65 RBIs in just 62 games.
Los Angeles Dodgers
As hard as it is to believe, the Dodgers haven’t played in the World Series since winning the 1988 Fall Classic in an upset over the Oakland A’s. L.A. has been in the postseason several times since then, including each of the past four seasons as NL West champions (as they are this year). The Dodgers have the lock 2017 NL Rookie of the Year in Cody Bellinger (.267, 39 HRs, 97 RBIs) and the best starting pitcher of his generation in lefty Clayton Kershaw.
He could win a fourth NL Cy Young after going 18-4 with a 2.31 ERA, the wins and ERA leading the NL. Kershaw surely would have reached 20 victories and locked up the Cy Young if he hadn’t missed more than a month with a back injury. He is lined up for Game 1 and potentially Game 5, but Kershaw is just 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA in 89 career postseason innings. Kershaw was 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts this season against Arizona. Because L.A. led MLB with 104 wins, it would have home-field advantage throughout the World Series if it gets there. The Dodgers are co-favourites with Cleveland to win the Fall Classic at +333.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Series Prediction
If Arizona hadn’t used Greinke and Ray on Wednesday it would have a much better shot here, but L.A. wins in five.