Now that we finally have the matchups set up in the National League side of the playoffs, this could be a very interesting race to the NL pennant as each of these squads will look to win the World Series in a very long time or win it for the first time. With that being said, let’s take a look at the matchups.
Milwaukee Brewers vs Colorado Rockies
With the best record in the NL, the Brewers showed why they were the best as they had one of the most fun teams to watch. On paper, Milwaukee is the most talented side in the NL. While they have great veterans in Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Curtis Granderson, they have so much depth of great players like Mike Moustakas, Jonathan Schoop, and Travis Shaw and they are also getting some breakout seasons from players like Christian Yelich and Jesus Aguilar. Their bullpen is phenomenal as they have shut down relievers such as Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Corey Knebel. The rotation is stacked as they have Jhoulys Chacin, Gio Gonzalez, and Wade Miley, plus a breakout year for Freddy Peralta. They should be the favorite to win the pennant.
As mentioned in the NL Wild Card Game article this team can absolutely slug and also can pitch really well. Their defense is solid too as they possess the best defensive third baseman in the game in Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu who is a gold glove second baseman. The Brewers might have an edge on defense, but the Rockies undoubtedly have the better offense and might be able to match well with the pitching standards. Both bullpens are phenomenal and if it does come down to a battle of the ‘pens, then we would see some great baseball as the Rockies have pitchers such as Adam Ottavino, Wade Davis, and Bryan Shaw who are incredible relievers. On paper, the Rockies might not match up well, but Colorado has a great chance against the Brewers.
Notes: Brewers won five of the seven games played against one another this season.
James Rowe: Brewers. I actually think this will be a fun series to watch as it’s more evenly matched than some may conclude, but the Brewers have been red hot and possess the better roster.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves
Los Angeles is back in the postseason once again, but this time around they have a roster that might even be better than last year’s squad which won more games and actually made the World Series. They acquired top talent like Manny Machado and Brian Dozier to complement other elite talent like Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig, and Justin Turner including getting career years from Matt Kemp and the surprise story of Max Muncy. This is a dangerous team in many ways with an offense that can score a lot of runs, that plays great defense, and a pitching staff with the likes of the best pitcher in baseball, Clayton Kershaw, on the team. They might not have played as well as they should have in 2018, but they have a squad that could return to the World Series.
They are young and hungry, but unfortunately that might hurt them as they are inexperienced and are squaring off against a team that wants to redeem themselves so badly after the loss from last year’s World Series. However, they are an up and coming team that exceeded expectations and came into the playoff picture a year earlier than expected. They have some great young talent like Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, and Johan Camargo, but they also have veteran players in Nick Markakis, Freddie Freeman, and Ender Inciarte to complement them. While their pitching is young and talented, it’s also inexperienced. That being said though, they at least matchup well against the Dodgers. They might be the “weakest” team in the whole field, but they will be a very strong one in the future.
Notes: Dodgers won five of the seven games played against one another this season.
James: Dodgers. Braves are talented and will be good soon, however, they are overmatched here as the Dodgers simply are more experienced and will be hungry to win a World Series after losing it in disappointing fashion in 2017.