2018 NLCS: Brewers’ Erik Kratz, Travis Shaw Embracing ‘Underdog’ Role Against Dodgers

2018 NLCS: Brewers’ Erik Kratz, Travis Shaw Embracing ‘Underdog’ Role Against Dodgers

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Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers reached the National League Championship Series for a third consecutive season, but instead of playing the Chicago Cubs to complete the trilogy, they will take on another NL Central powerhouse in the Milwaukee Brewers.

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The Brewers had the best record in the NL in 2018, so they have home-field advantage in the series, with Game 1 set to take place Friday night at Miller Park.

Many have pointed to the Brewers’ lack of postseason experience as a reason they could falter in the NLCS, but catcher Erik Kratz made note of players on their roster that have played in big games, via Adam McCalvy of MLB.com:

“You mean like the experience that Lo Cain has? Or ‘Moose’ [Moustakas] has?” Kratz said. “We’ve got some guys. I think that’s a moniker that’s been put on us, that we don’t have any experience. There’s guys we can lean on. There’s an NL MVP [Christian Yelich] that we lean on. There’s a pitching staff that they probably don’t have any awards for this year, but they deserve a lot of awards. Experience is great. It’s an accomplishment [the Dodgers] have done the previous few years here. … But I don’t think we’re lacking in that department.”

Despite Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas both winning a World Series with the Kansas City Royals and Christian Yelich being the favorite to win the NL MVP award this season, infielder Travis Shaw said that they are embracing their underdog role for this series:

“I think we’re taking the underdog mentality,” Shaw said. “Look at the four teams that are left. It’s the Astros, the Red Sox, the Dodgers and — the Brewers. We’re the smallest market out of the four. We’re the kind of no-name out of the four. But we kind of like that role. We like that underdog mentality. We’re used to it. We were underdogs all year and we won the most games in the National League. We’ll take on that role again.”

While the Brewers may believe they are the underdogs, it is the Dodgers that have battled through a ton of adversity in 2018 after starting off slow and dealing with a ton of injuries.

Both are very good teams that have earned their spots in this series though, so it should be fun to see them go at it with only one spot in the World Series up for grabs.

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