NLCS Cheat Sheet
October 9, 2018
By Kevin Rogers
2018 Head-to-Head Matchups (Dodgers 4-3, Over 4-3)
Dodgers vs. Brewers (Miller Park)
July 20 – Dodgers 6, Brewers 4 (Over 9)
July 21 – Brewers 4, Dodgers 2 (Under 8)
July 22 – Dodgers 11, Brewers 2 (Over 8 ½)
Brewers vs. Dodgers (Dodger Stadium)
July 30 – Brewers 5, Dodgers 2 (Under 7 ½)
July 31 – Brewers 1, Dodgers 0 (Under 8 ½)
August 1 – Dodgers 6, Brewers 4 (Over 8)
August 2 – Dodgers 21, Brewers 5 (Over 7 ½)
HOW THEY GOT HERE
The Brewers (96-67) are the hottest team in baseball entering the League Championship Series. Milwaukee has won 11 consecutive games, which includes the divisional tiebreaker victory at Wrigley Field over the Cubs. The Brewers locked up not only the NL Central title, but secured the all-important home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.
Milwaukee quickly disposed of Colorado in a three-game sweep in the NLDS to advance to its first Championship Series since 2011. For the exception of a ninth-inning rally to score two runs in Game 1, Colorado’s offense was shut down by the Milwaukee pitching staff in this series. The Rockies tallied a total of two runs in 28 innings, while getting blanked in the final two games. All three games finished UNDER the total, as none of Milwaukee’s starting pitchers allowed a run.
The Dodgers (92-71) also needed a victory in a division title contest as they routed the Rockies to pick up their sixth consecutive NL West championship. Los Angeles ran a tight race alongside Colorado and Arizona for the top spot in the West all season long until the Dodgers pulled away in the final five weeks. After the Cardinals swept the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine in late August, Los Angeles sat at 67-61. The Dodgers went 24-10 in the final 34 regular season games to clinch a playoff spot, while going 15-4 in the past 19 home contests.
Los Angeles needed four games to finish off an upstart Atlanta squad in the NLDS. The Dodgers blanked the Braves in each of the first two games, but couldn’t pull off the sweep as Los Angeles fell to Atlanta, 6-5 in Game 3 at SunTrust Park. L.A. rallied past Atlanta, 6-2 in Game 4 to advance to its third consecutive National League Championship Series.
In seven meetings this season, the Dodgers captured four victories, including two wins at Miller Park in July. Los Angeles held off Milwaukee in the opener, 6-4, highlighted by two hits from Manny Machado in his Dodgers’ debut after getting traded from Baltimore. The Brewers won the second contest as nearly a +160 underdog against Clayton Kershaw as Milwaukee erased an early 2-0 deficit to pick up a 4-2 triumph. The Dodgers grabbed the rubber match in blowout fashion, 11-2, as Los Angeles allowed two early runs before it put together a pair of five-run innings for the series victory.
When the teams met in southern California over a week later, the Brewers rebounded with a pair of wins, while limiting the Dodgers to two runs in those victories. Eric Thames knocked out a three-run homer in the series opening 5-2 win, while Wade Miley tossed seven scoreless innings in a 2-0 triumph in Game 2. The Dodgers broke through in Game 3 on a Yasmani Grandal walk-off homer in the 10th inning, 6-4 followed up by a 21-5 rout of Milwaukee in the finale to grab the series split.
The Dodgers and Brewers have never met in the playoffs, as Milwaukee has played in the National League since 1998. Los Angeles is seeking back-to-back National League pennants for the first time since 1977-78, while losing in four of its past five NLCS appearances dating back to 2008. Milwaukee last reached the NLCS in 2011 as the Brewers fell in six games to the Cardinals, while the Brew Crew is looking for their first World Series appearance since 1982.
PITCHERS TO WATCH
Obviously the most decorated pitcher in this series is Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA), who silenced the Braves’ bats in Game 2 of the NLDS. Kershaw tossed eight scoreless innings and scattered two hits in a 3-0 shutout as the Dodgers have won each of the left-hander’s last nine starts. Los Angeles owns a 5-0 mark in each of Kershaw’s last five home playoff starts, but the road is a different story for the three-time Cy Young winner. Kershaw has allowed 11 earned runs in his past two road playoff outings, while the Dodgers are 0-2 in those affairs.
Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.56 ERA) picked up a career-high in victories in his first season in Milwaukee. Chacin was an integral part of lifting the Brewers to the NL Central title by allowing one hit and one run in 5.2 innings of the division championship win over the Cubs. The right-hander followed that performance up by yielding three hits in five scoreless innings of a 4-0 triumph over Colorado in Game 2 of the NLDS. However, Chacin was lit up by the Dodgers in the 16-run defeat in August as he was tagged for nine runs in 4.1 innings opposite Kershaw.
Southpaw Wade Miley (5-2, 2.57 ERA) is unbeaten in his past eight starts for Milwaukee, while having the Dodgers’ number in two starts. In 13 innings against Los Angeles, Miley allowed six hits and one run, as the Brewers split those two games. Miley finished one out from a victory against Colorado in Game 3 of the NLDS as he tossed 4.2 scoreless innings in the 6-0 rout as +145 underdogs in the series clincher.
SERIES SCHEDULE (All games on FOX/FS1)
Game 1 – Friday, October 12 – at Milwaukee
Game 2 – Saturday, October 13 - at Milwaukee
Game 3 – Monday, October 15 - at Los Angeles
Game 4 – Tuesday, October 16 - at Los Angeles
*Game 5 – Wednesday, October 17 - at Los Angeles
*Game 6 – Friday, October 19 - at Milwaukee
*Game 7 – Saturday, October 20 - at Milwaukee
* - If Necessary
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.
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