The MLB postseason got underway Monday but the Los Angeles Dodgers are still awaiting to learn out who they will face in the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers earned a bye through the Wild Card round as a result of finishing as the No. 2 seed in the NL behind the Atlanta Braves. They will host either the Milwaukee Brewers or Arizona Diamondbacks in the NLDS, which begins Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
While the Dodgers would be a favorite over both those clubs, the postseason has always shown that nothing goes according to plan.
After winning a franchise-record 111 games last year, the Dodgers were eliminated in the NLDS by the San Diego Padres, a team they had no trouble with during the regular season. Some of that may have been due to the randomness of October, but it also seemed like the Dodgers played with less emotion amid more of an easygoing temperament compared to the Padres.
“I think if I can say one thing that might be tangible is, I am going to push the urgency part of the postseason,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said of how his approach would change this October.
“I think in one sense I believe there’s a certain way you play baseball, and the natural emotions and adrenaline will manifest themselves in the postseason. I do think with some players that’s the case.
“But I do think I’m going to push it a little bit more this year. As a manager, you don’t ever want to feel a player saying you’re panicking or all this stuff, so you’ve got to find that balance. But the postseason is a sprint. We learned last year that it happened really quick and we’re packing our bags.
“I think our guys prepare and understand what’s at stake, so we’re going to play with a sense of urgency. We need to.”
Over the regular season, things tend to even out and the true talent level of a team will shine through. But in the playoffs, everything is magnified with increased importance. One simple mistake could end your season, or one big play could send you to the next round.
“Momentum changes so much,” Roberts said. “The goal is to win 11 games, and it’s a sprint. You’ve got to kind of ramp it up a couple notches to get there and win 11 games in October.”
The Dodgers are entering their 11th consecutive postseason, previously going to the World Series in three of their last 10 appearances. They’ve won one championship during that span, and of course were on the unfortunate side of the Houston Astros’ cheating scandal in the 2017 World Series.
It’s been a successful run that most teams could only dream of, but Roberts and the players are still looking to bring a parade back to the city.
Dodgers NLDS schedule and how to watch
When the Dodgers’ postseason run begins on October 7, the game will be broadcasted exclusively on TBS, which will be the home for all NLDS games, including the Atlanta Braves versus the winner of the Philadelphia Phillies and Miami Marlins series.
The NLDS schedule this season includes a bit of a quirk with off days after Games 1 and 2, along with a potential Game 4.
After Saturday, the remaining games take place on Monday, October 9 and Wednesday, Oct. 11. Games 4 and 5 will be played Thursday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 14, if necessary.
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