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NLCS Preview: Brewers and Dodgers Square Off

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers will face off against each other in the National League Championship Series

Kersh by Wollennium is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

NLCS Preview: Brewers and Dodgers Square Off

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers will face off against each other in the National League Championship Series beginning this Friday at 8:09 PM (EST) on FS1. The schedule for the NLCS, announced by MLB, is as follows:

Friday, Oct. 12
NLCS Game 1: Dodgers at Brewers, 8:09 p.m. (FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 13
NLCS Game 2: Dodgers at Brewers, 4:09 p.m. (Fox)

Monday, Oct. 15
NLCS Game 3: Brewers at Dodgers, 7:39 p.m. (FS1)

Tuesday, Oct. 16
NLCS Game 4: Brewers at Dodgers, 9:09 p.m. (FS1)

Wednesday, Oct. 17
NLCS Game 5, If Necessary: Brewers at Dodgers, 5:05 p.m. (FS1)

Friday, Oct. 19
NLCS Game 6, If Necessary: Dodgers at Brewers, 8:39 p.m. (FS1)

Saturday, Oct. 20
NLCS Game 7, If Necessary: Brewers at Dodgers, 9:09 p.m. (FS1)

Brewers Craft Winning Recipe

Miller Park, Home of Milwaukee Brewers by DaveyNin is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Brewers are coming off a three-game sweep of the NL Wild Card winning Colorado Rockies. Outscoring the big bats of Colorado 13-2, the Brewers would also shut out the Rockies in the final two games of the series.

In the regular season, the Brewers took 3 of the 7 games they played against Los Angeles. However, it’s how they played against teams above .500 that needs to be examined further. 

christian yelich brewers postseason GIF by MLB

When facing teams above .500, the pitcher staff sharpens up. It’s a slight difference, but it’s enough of a difference to see how Milwaukee stands up to solid competition. Against teams worse than .500, the Brewers pitchers hold a 3.71 ERA, a 1.257 and opposing hitters owned a .238 average. Against teams better than .500, they’re tossing a 3.75 ERA, a 1.228 WHIP and are holding opposing hitters to a .229 average. It’s a slight difference but shows how the Brewers rise to the occasion.

At home the Brewers pitch better too, dropping their team ERA from 3.73 to 3.48. So home field advantage plays directly into the Brew Crew’s hands. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to Gio Gonzalez and Jhoulys Chacin, the Game 1 and Game 2 starters. If they can hold a lead and hand the game off to the solid bullpen, the Brewers will be sitting pretty heading to Los Angeles.

jeremy jeffress brewers GIF by MLB

The Brewers bullpen is a thing to behold. In the 2018 season, the Brewers relievers held the fifth lowest ERA at 3.47, the fifth-lowest opposing average at .230, and had a K/9 of 10.38, good enough for 3rd in the entire league. That’s going to be a massive advantage in this series.

At the end of the day, the Brewers have to stop the Dodgers potent offense while banking that theirs will rise to the occasion. The Brew Crew offense is stacked, there’s no denying it. The offseason acquisitions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, as well as midseason additions of Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop helped them go 23-7 in the last two months. 

The Brewers need to get to Clayton Kershaw in Game 1. It’s likely that if the Dodgers hang around in this series, they’ll see Kershaw twice, if not three times. Getting to the Dodger starters, specifically Kershaw and Buehler, the Brewers can beat the Brewers easily. 

The Dodger Blues

Photo by KennethHan, is part of the Public Domain.

The Dodgers are heading to their 4th NLCS in the last 6 years, after disposing of the NL East Champion Atlanta Braves. They’ve gone to the World Series once. That’s not great. Now with an All-Star lineup, much like the Golden State Warriors to the north, the Dodgers are poised to repeat their World Series run from last year, potentially against their former World Series opponent from the AL. 

The Dodgers have pitching, that’s for sure. In the NLDS, the Dodgers saw Hyun-Jin Ryu rise to the occasion in Game 1, Kershaw stifle the Braves in Game 2, Walker Buehler struggle with Ronald Acuña, Jr. in Game 3, and finally former Long Island Duck Rich Hill slam the door in Game 4. 

If the Dodgers can repeat the kind of pitching dominance from the NLDS in this series, they’ll be well on their way. It’s not like the offense is going to be slacking either. 

los angeles dodgers sport GIF by MLB

Manny Machado, the biggest move of the trade deadline, is tied with J.D. Martinez this postseason for most RBIs. Justin Turner has continued his master class in hitting, and the Dodgers have been playing hard-nosed, no-nonsense baseball. They’re ready for this. They’re ready for the Brewers. 

The experience factor is the biggest question mark heading into this series. Will the youth of the Brewers team be a hinderance? Or will the experience and hunger of the Dodgers propel them past the NL Central Champs and into their second straight World Series? Only time will tell.

Prediction: Brewers in 6.

milwaukee brewers GIF by MLB

The Brewers are on a tear right now, and their bullpen has been staunch. To get through the Cubs and Rockies, two teams that gave the Dodgers trouble in the regular season, isn’t an easy task. 

The only thing that could through this prediction out the window is Kershaw. If he pulls a move like he did in 2016 and decides to pitch as many games as he can, there’s a chance the Brewers could go under. 

However, the Brewers offense is just too potent. Look for them to take the first two in Milwaukee, and then trade games with the Dodgers until celebrating at Dodger Stadium. 

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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