1. The Dodgers have home-field, rest advantages
With Strasburg on short rest:
G5: Strasburg, but really all hands on deck
Game 4: L.A. Dodgers at Washington*
|Game 5: Washington at L.A. Dodgers*||TBA||The Los Angeles Dodgers enter their National League Division Series with the Washington Nationals as the overwhelming favorites to claim not just a series victory, but yet another pennant. Before that series gets underway, we wanted to preview it by offering six things to know about these teams and/or this match-up leading into what could be the best divisional series of the postseason.||Dodger Stadium||Dodger Stadium||Dodger Stadium||Dodger Stadium||Dodger Stadium||Game 2: Washington at L.A. Dodgers|
2. The Dodgers took the regular-season series
By virtue of having the best record in the NL during the regular season, at 106-56, the Dodgers will possess home-field advantage at least up until the World Series.
3. The Nationals might be better than their record suggests
4. Nationals’ rotation is to be determined
The Dodgers ranked fifth, but Kenley Jansen had a worse-than-usual season and Joe Kelly has mostly failed to deliver on his promise. Even so, the Dodgers have the better bullpen on paper thanks to their depth — folks like Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, and even lefty specialist Adam Kolarek should tip the scales in L.A.’s favor. That’s without mentioning someone like Dustin May, who could conceivably crack the roster.
With Strasburg on regular rest:
G5: Corbin, but really all hands on deck
This should come as no surprise, but yes, the Dodgers have a loaded lineup — even more loaded than the Nationals. The Dodgers exited the regular season with the top-ranked offense in the NL, according to FanGraphs’ adjusted weighted runs created metric — a catch-all that properly contextualizes ballpark — while the Nationals ranked third. Meanwhile, the Dodgers tied the Astros for the best defensive efficiency — that is, percentage of balls in play turned into outs. The Nationals were middle of the pack. The Dodgers also finished ahead of the Nationals as it pertains to catching framing. The Dodgers are good at baseball, you read it here first.
5. The Dodgers have the advantage position-player wise
6. Bullpens could be X-factor
Game 1: Washington at L.A. Dodgers
Game 3: L.A. Dodgers at Washington