NLCS Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

Perhaps the most interesting fact that I learned while researching this series came right at the time of writing, which is that for Game One of the NLCS, which begins in roughly seven hours, there are still tickets available. And I am not even talking about the exceedingly expensive seats going unsold. I just checked, and at this moment I could still buy seats at the cheapest price level ($51) in the upper deck behind home plate. What’s up LA?

Anyways, as far as the series goes, the Dodgers get an added boost with the return of Hiroki Kuroda, who was unavailable in the Divisional Series. He will slot into the third spot in the rotation with Clayton Kershaw getting the nod tonight and Vicente Padilla in Game Two. Randy Wolf will get the start in Game Four.

The Dodgers had a huge bullpen advantage over the Cardinals in round one and they still maintain that here against Philadelphia. In fact, their rotation is going to be stronger as well, so look for the Dodgers to hope to contain the potent Phillies offense. Contrary to others, I am less sure that the Dodgers need some solid performances from lefty specialists to do that. The lefties in the Phillies lineup have shown roughly neutral splits this season while facing a left-hander has greatly helped their right-handed hitters. I still anticipate that George Sherrill will be used against the likes of Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez though.

The Dodgers hold the edge in pitching, the Phillies in hitting, and I think their defenses are a toss up. In the end, I see LA as the better team by a couple wins per 162 games and even though we only have a maximum of seven here and anything can happen, my best estimate is that the Dodgers get revenge for 2008 and that we’ll have a New York vs LA World Series.

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Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

14 Responses to “NLCS Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers”

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  1. Mike B. says:

    Curious that Chad Billingsley isn’t in the starting mix. Does he have a nagging injury, or is this just a case of “proven veteranness/play the hot hand” with Padilla?

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    • Nestor Chylak says:

      If so, this is atrocious and Torre sucks. Despite Billingsley’s struggles down the stretch.

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  2. Bill says:

    Philadelphia had a UZR/150 of 5.8 and LA had a UZR/150 of -1.3 but it’s a toss up? Arguably LA is really only better at CF, while Philadelphia is much better at 2B, LF, and RF.

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  3. WY says:

    Howard actually has a pretty drastic split (.658 vs. lefties as opposed to 1.088 against righties) this year at least, while Utley and Ibanez have been better against lefties. But their three-year splits all show them to be better against righties, especially Howard and Ibanez. For whatever that’s worth…

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  4. joser says:

    I think LA is a little jaded (in general, and this postseason in particular) what with two teams still in hunt (and a possible “Freeway series” in the offing). I’m sure there are a fair number of folks who only show up (in the 3rd inning and leave by the 7th) for playoff games, rather than for teams, and those people are getting split by the Red and the Blue.

    Besides, it rained in LA yesterday (for the first time in months). That always leaves folks there traumatized and afraid to go anywhere for a couple of days.

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  5. neuter_your_dogma says:

    “Luck” will no doubt play a part with which team advances.

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  6. matt in el Lay says:

    51 dollars escalates into 60 when all the fees are combined. A 60 bucks a seat is pretty expensive to sit in the nosebleeds. I went to game 2 of the DS and sat in left field for 35 bucks a seat, but the pavilion sold out for the NLCS. I would rather be at home or the bar watching on HD than up in the stratosphere of the upper deck for 120 bucks. (As I would want to take someone)

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  7. philly fan says:

    While watching div series, me and my uncle tried to gauge how much we’d be willing to pay to see a game in this series (we both now live over 100 miles from philly), we decided that $150-250 would be reasonable. $60 bucks is nothing to watch a playoff game, come on!

    Dodgers fans are weak, can’t wait to laugh at the “stars” behind homeplate texting and talking on the phone the whole game (I think rick james sat there last year).

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    • walkoffblast says:

      Rick James ghost?

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    • don says:

      It looks like there’s still some tickets to be had from resellers in the $100-150 range for game 3. Maybe the hardcore fans who took out a second mortgage last year can’t this year.

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  8. nick says:

    all over the internet Philly fans are bristling, trash-talking taking offense at anything, getting all holier/more-working-class than thou–what is the deal with these people? Philly fans: chill.

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  9. judas_priest says:

    joser: There are no jails at CBP – it’s just one of those urban myths.

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