I remember a time when the Dodgers didn’t make the playoffs every year. Now, for the 10th consecutive year, they’re playing in October. This time, it’s a rematch of the 2020 National League Division Series against the Padres, except this time, it won’t be played in Texas.
For a more in-depth look at the series, be sure to check out Shane’s preview from last night.
Before we get to the lineups, let’s take a look at each team’s NLDS roster.
On the Padres’ side, old friend Brandon Dixon (3rd round, 2013), gets replaced from their Wild Card Round roster by tonight’s starter, Mike Clevinger. For what it’s worth (usually not much), the Dodgers enjoyed success against Clevinger in three games this season: 9.69 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, .291 BAA, 5 HR in 63 plate appearances.
On the Dodgers’ side, the biggest surprise could be argued that Craig Kimbrel was left off the roster or that Miguel Vargas (my boy!) was included over Hanser Alberto (who will be in the dugout, thankfully). Dustin May, Chris Taylor and Blake Treinen all make the roster after being question marks with their various injuries.
A side note: If any player is removed from the roster during a round due to injury, they are ineligible to return for the next series. That’s something to keep in mind with some of the players who have been dealing with injuries the last month or so (or, in Treinen’s case, all season).
Here are the Game 1 lineups.
Standard lineup for the Padres.
For the Dodgers, the biggest surprise might be Trayce Thompson getting the start. However, there’s a good reason for it:
Single-season platoon splits don’t usually mean a ton, but Thompson has thrived against righties this season after being pretty neutral against both lefties and righties in his career. Other than that, standard lineup for LA.
Much is being made about how the Braves and Astros — both teams that received a 1st-round bye in the new playoff structure — fared in their first games in a week. Atlanta lost 7-6 and Houston won 8-7 on the strength of their bats and a terrible managerial decision. But both starting pitchers were not on their respective games. Max Fried and Justin Verlander both struggled.
- Fried: 3 1/3 IP, 8 H, 6/4 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- Verlander: 4 IP, 10 H, 6 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Naturally, there’s going to be a little concern with Julio Urias, who is making his first start in a week. However, he has fared quite well in 53 postseason innings and, generally, has some of the most composure of any Dodger starting pitcher. Oh, and his Championship Win Probability Added (cWPA) of 32.7% is better than both Fried — 5.8% in 57 2/3 IP — and Verlander — 25.2% in 187 2/3 IP. Both of those don’t include today’s action. He has also fared well in his career against San Diego (2.19 ERA, 0,99 WHIP in 61 2/3 innings).
The start times for the rest of the series are live.
And finally, the hype video. No one does these better than the Dodgers’ social team.
Let’s go get the playoff opener.