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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:52 PM

NL Divisional Series Cheat Sheet

The Wild Card round is over as the 16-team field has been sliced in half to eight squads seeking a World Series title. No team will have home-field advantage the rest of the way as the four remaining series will be played at neutral sites in California and Texas.

The divisional playoff round in the National League will take place in Arlington and Houston. NL East rivals Atlanta and Miami will square off at Minute Maid Park, while NL West foes Los Angeles and San Diego hook up at Globe Life Park.

National League

#1 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. #4 San Diego Padres
at Globe Life Park, Arlington

  • LAD: 45-17 SU, 27-28-7 O/U
  • SD: 39-24 SU, 30-31-2 O/U

Series Price

  • Los Angeles -280
  • San Diego +240

Series Schedule

  • Game 1 - Tuesday, Oct. 6 - 9:38 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Game 2 - Wednesday, Oct. 7 - TBD (FS1 or MLB)
  • Game 3 - Thursday, Oct. 8 - (FS1 or MLB)
  • Game 4 - Friday, Oct. 9 - (If Necessary)
  • Game 5 - Saturday, Oct. 10 - (If Necessary)

The Dodgers owned the best fifth winning percentage in a season in Major League history at .717 and didn't disappoint in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Los Angeles easily eliminated Milwaukee in two games, capped off by a 2-0 shutout in the clinching contest. Clayton Kershaw delivered eight shutout innings and struck out 13 batters as the three-time Cy Young winner is returning to elite form with the Dodgers winning eight of his last nine starts.

The Padres were one of two teams pushed to three games in the Wild Card round (Athletics the other). San Diego overcame a loss in the opener and a 4-0 deficit in Game 2 to beat St. Louis, 11-9 to force a decisive third game at Petco Park. The Padres used nine pitchers to pull off a 4-0 shutout of the Cardinals in Game 3 and win a playoff series for the first time since capturing the 1998 National League pennant.

Padres' star shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr. hit .444 against the Cardinals, including two monster home runs in the Game 2 comeback win. San Diego's pitching staff is still depleted heading into the NLDS with in-season acquisition Mike Clevinger dealing with an arm injury. Clevinger (3-2, 3.02 ERA) hopes to return against the Dodgers, while Dinelson Lamet (3-1, 2.09 ERA) is sidelined with a biceps injury.

The Dodgers are obviously the team to beat this postseason although Los Angeles has won eight straight NL West titles and has not captured a World Series title in this span. L.A. has lost three times in the NLDS since 2014, including an exit in this round last season in five games to eventual champion Washington.

These two NL West squads have never faced each other in the playoffs, as the Padres are only the second division opponent the Dodgers have ever played in the postseason (swept Arizona in 2017 NLDS). Los Angeles won six of 10 regular season meetings with San Diego, while the Padres were limited to two runs or fewer in four of the six defeats.

#2 Atlanta Braves vs. #6 Miami Marlins
at Minute Maid Park - Houston

  • ATL: 37-25 SU, 32-25-5 O/U
  • MIA: 33-29 SU, 32-29-1 O/U

Series Price

  • Atlanta -300
  • Miami +250

Series Schedule

  • Game 1 - Tuesday, Oct. 6 - 2:38 p.m. ET (FS1)
  • Game 2 - Wednesday, Oct. 7 - TBD (FS1 or MLB)
  • Game 3 - Thursday, Oct. 8 - (FS1 or MLB)
  • Game 4 - Friday, Oct. 9 - (If Necessary)
  • Game 5 - Saturday, Oct. 10 - (If Necessary)

It's no surprise the Braves are in the NLDS, although it is Atlanta's first postseason series victory since 2001 after knocking out light-hitting Cincinnati in two games of the Wild Card round. However, Miami continued its shocking run to the Divisional Round after picking up a pair of road wins over NL Central champion Chicago.

The Braves have dealt with plenty of injuries to their starting pitching staff this season, but Atlanta shut out Cincinnati in a pair of wins in the Wild Card round over a 22-inning span. Following a 1-0 triumph in 13 innings of the series opener, the Braves broke out the bats late in a 5-0 blanking of the Reds to secure the franchise's first advancement in the playoffs in nearly 20 years.

The Marlins weren't expected to do much in the competitive NL East this season, then things got complicated when a COVID-19 outbreak happened less than a week into the season. But Miami overcame that issue and basically stayed above the .500 mark for most of the season to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since winning the World Series in 2003. The Marlins limited the Cubs to one run in a two-game sweep at Wrigley Field to improve to 5-1 in their last six games overall with all five victories coming as a substantial underdog.

On their way to their first-ever championship in 1997, the Marlins knocked off the Braves in the NLCS in the only playoff matchup in franchise history. Atlanta put together a 6-4 record against Miami this season, which included taking three of four at Truist Park late in the season. The Braves dropped 29 runs on the Marlins in a 20-run blowout on September 9, but the 'under' went 5-4-1 in the 10 meetings.

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