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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 14:02 PM

NLDS Cheat Sheet

2018 Head-to-Head Matchups (Milwaukee 5-2, Under 4-3)

Milwaukee vs. Colorado (Coors Field)
May 10 – Brewers 5, Rockies 2 (Under 11 ½)
May 11 – Brewers 11, Rockies 10 (Over 11 ½)
May 12 – Rockies 4, Brewers 0 (Under 11)
May 13 – Brewers 7, Rockies 3 (Under 10 ½)

Colorado vs. Milwaukee (Miller Park)
August 3 – Brewers 5, Rockies 3 (Under 8 ½)
August 4 – Brewers 8, Rockies 4 (Over 8 ½)
August 5 – Rockies 5, Brewers 4 (Over 8 ½)

This month may be referred to as “Rocktober” in the Denver area after the Rockies eliminated the Cubs in the NL Wild Card game in 13 innings. However, the Rockies’ opponent in the NLDS is riding plenty of momentum as the Brewers are red-hot following a spectacular September.

On September 1, following a one-run loss to the Nationals coupled with a Cubs’ blowout win over the Phillies, the Brewers sat five games out of the lead in the NL Central race. Milwaukee turned it up over the next 30 days by winning 20 of the final 26 games, including Monday’s 3-1 triumph at Chicago to wrap up its first division title since 2011. Also, the Brewers went from potentially hosting the NL Wild Card game (with a loss to the Cubs) to owning home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.

Milwaukee’s resurgence this season following an 86-76 campaign in 2017 is attributed to several key offensive additions in the offseason. Most notably the pickup of outfielder Christian Yelich from the Marlins, who captured the NL batting title (.326), while finishing tied for third in home runs (36), and tied for second in RBI (110). Lorenzo Cain returned to Milwaukee after a successful stint in Kansas City as the center fielder hit .308 to go along with 30 stolen bases, which both ranked in the top-five in the NL.

The Brewers’ pitching staff showcased only one hurler that won double-digit games as former Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin won a career-best 15 starts. Chacin posted career-highs in strikeouts (156) and WHIP (1.16) in his first season with the Brewers, but has lost his last three starts at Miller Park. Chacin beat the Rockies at Coors Field in May as a +135 underdog, 5-2 by tossing 5.2 innings and yielding four hits and two runs.

The Rockies overcame a ridiculous travel schedule in a three-day stretch to reach the NLDS for the first time since 2009. Colorado forced a Game 163 by routing Washington at home on Sunday, but the Rockies lost to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, 5-2 to be denied their first-ever NL West title. The Rockies then had to travel to Chicago to face a Cubs’ team that had been at home the entire weekend plus Monday in their pseudo-division championship game against the Brewers.

Colorado held off Chicago, 2-1 in 13 innings to bounce back from last year’s Wild Card loss at Arizona as the Rockies improved 10-2 in the last 12 games overall. In Tuesday’s victory at Wrigley Field, Rockies’ southpaw Kyle Freeland tossed 6.2 spectacular innings in his playoff debut as the Rockies moved to 16-2 in his previous 18 starts.

Although he lost in Game 163 to the Dodgers, right-hander German Marquez has been a key member of the Rockies’ rotation this season. Colorado has compiled a 12-5 record in his past 17 starts since the end of June, while dominating Milwaukee at Miller Park in early August. Marquez scattered three hits and two runs in seven innings, but the Colorado bullpen couldn’t hold onto a 3-2 lead as Milwaukee walked-off in the ninth inning in a 5-3 triumph.

The Brewers and Rockies are meeting in the playoffs for the first time ever as Colorado is looking to advance past the NLDS for the first time since capturing the pennant in 2007. The Brewers last reached the NLCS in 2011 as they lost to the Cardinals, while never making the World Series since moving to the National League in 1998.

2018 Head-to-Head Matchups (Los Angeles 5-2, Over 4-3)

Atlanta vs. Los Angeles (Dodger Stadium)
June 8 – Dodgers 3, Braves 1 (Over 7 ½)
June 9 – Braves 5, Dodgers 3 (Over 7 ½)
June 10 – Dodgers 7, Braves 2 (Over 7)

Los Angeles vs. Atlanta (SunTrust Park)
July 26 – Dodgers 8, Braves 2 (Over 8 ½)
July 27 – Dodgers 4, Braves 1 (Under 8)
July 28 – Dodgers 5, Braves 1 (Under 9)
July 29 – Braves 4, Dodgers 1 (Under 8 ½)

Four of the five playoff teams in the National League needed to play on Monday to decide the NL Central and NL West titles. The only team to sit back and kick their feet was the NL East champion Braves, who captured their first division crown since 2013, but owned the fewest wins of any playoff squad with 90.

Atlanta beat up the competition inside the NL East, specifically the Marlins, Phillies, and Mets, the three teams that finished with losing records. The Braves posted a solid 39-18 record against those squads, but went 51-54 against the rest of the league, while failed to put together a winning mark against any of the other NL playoff teams in the regular season.

On the positive side, the Braves finished second in the National League in batting average at .257 behind the Cubs, while scoring 759 runs, which ranked tied for fourth in the NL with the Cardinals. Three Braves’ starting pitchers owned an ERA of 3.00 or less, led by right-hander Mike Foltynewicz, who won a team-best 13 games, while mid-season acquisition Kevin Gausman was unbeaten in five starts at SunTrust Park.

Foltynewicz struck out the sixth-most batters in the NL this season with 202, while fellow starters Sean Newcomb and Julio Teheran each struck out over 160 batters. In his only start against the Dodgers this season, Foltynewicz allowed four runs in five innings of a 4-1 home defeat in July. Newcomb nearly no-hit the Dodgers in that same July series, as the southpaw settled for a 4-1 underdog victory. However, Newcomb struggled down the stretch as the Braves lost five of his final seven starts.

The Dodgers won 13 of their final 17 games to force a division championship game on Monday against the Rockies. Los Angeles cruised to a 5-2 victory to wrap up its sixth consecutive NL West title, while improving to 13-4 at home the last 17 games since getting swept by St. Louis in late August.

Prior to this season, not many people would predict that Max Muncy and Matt Kemp, who were not on the Dodgers’ roster last season, would combine for 56 home runs and 164 runs batted in. The Dodgers showcased seven players to hit at least 20 home runs this season, which doesn’t include Manny Machado, who knocked out a total of 37 home runs between his time and Los Angeles and Baltimore.

The big question heading into the postseason following last year’s Game 7 loss in the World Series to Houston is whether or not Clayton Kershaw can lead the Dodgers to their first championship since 1988. Los Angeles won four of Kershaw’s five postseason starts in 2017, but had to pitch out of the bullpen in Game 7 after the Dodgers trailed, 5-0 to the Astros. Kershaw is unbeaten in his last eight starts, while he shut down the Braves at SunTrust Park in July as the Dodgers are 7-0 in his past seven starts against Atlanta dating back to 2013.

However, Kershaw will start Game 2 for Los Angeles and turn to another left-hander in Game 1 as Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the ball. Ryu closed the regular season on fire by winning each of his final three starts, while allowing four hits in each outing and a total of one run. In Ryu’s nine home starts this season, the Dodgers posted a solid 7-2 mark as he owned a miniscule ERA of 1.15 at Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers and Braves are meeting in the playoffs for the third time ever as Los Angeles eliminated Atlanta in four games of the NLDS back in 2013. Los Angeles had advanced to the NLCS in each of the past two seasons, while Atlanta is seeking its first trip to the NLCS since 2001 as the Braves have lost seven consecutive playoff series.

You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at [email protected]

Kevin Rogers can be followed on Twitter at virogers.

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