The Los Angeles Dodgers swept the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the National League Division Series and punched their ticket to the NL Championship Series for a second consecutive year. It’s the the third time in the past five seasons they’ve reached the NLDS, and fifth time in the past decade.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joins Tommy Lasorda and Joe Torre in guiding the team to the NLCS in the first two years at the helm. What awaits the 2017 club is either a rematch with the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs, or a date with the Washington Nationals, who the Dodgers faced in the 2016 NLDS.
“There is no preference,” answered Roberts when asked which team he’d like to face in the best-of-seven series. “Both clubs are very good, very talented. So we’re going to have our hands full. They’re both great ballclubs, managed well.”
After a rainout postponed Game 4 to Wednesday, which the Nationals won, they now host the Cubs in a decided Game 5 on Thursday. Washington has never advance past the first round in franchise history.
The Dodgers went 4-2 against the Cubs during the regular season, which included a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium. They split six head-to-head meetings with the Nationals. Whichever opponent, Los Angeles will boast home-field advantage.
Thus, Game 1 will be played Saturday at Dodger Stadium, followed by Game 2 on Sunday. Following a travel day, the series will shift to either Wrigley Field or Nationals Park, for Games 3 and 4, and if necessary, Game 5.
While Roberts did not express a preference on the NLCS matchup, he praised Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo and his club for their successful season. “I want to say Torey did a great job with these guys this year,” Roberts said.
“That team, they’ve got a special thing going over there. They competed. They competed all year, and it’s fun for us, albeit a thorn in our side, to have a talented team in our division and to play them 18, 19 times a year. We go toe to toe. So tip our hats to those guys.”