The Los Angeles Dodgers earned a thrilling comeback win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Game, setting the stage for a highly anticipated showdown with the San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series.
It marks the first ever playoff meeting between the longtime rivals, which comes on the heels of both teams enjoying a historic regular season.
The Giants won a franchise-record 107 games to claim their first NL West title since 2012, snapping the Dodgers’ streak of eight consecutive division crowns. L.A., however, tied a franchise record with 106 wins and posted the best run differential at +269.
In what figures to be a clash of the titans, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman believes the Dodgers have an opportunity to show they are the best team in baseball, via Andy McCullough of The Athletic:
“They’re an extremely well-rounded team,” Friedman said. “For us, we needed to win tonight to put ourselves on equal footing. Now we’re there. We feel like we’re the best team. So now it’s up to us to go out and prove it.”
As Friedman noted, the Giants have one of the more versatile and complete rosters in the league. That doesn’t come as a surprise considering former Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi has been at the helm for three seasons now.
The teams were evenly matched during the regular season, with San Francisco taking 10 of 19 games against L.A. The Dodgers, however, outscored the Giants, 80-78.
The Giants also threw down the first gauntlet by taking Game of the NLDS, and the teams will be back at Oracle Park on Saturday for a pivotal matchup.
Roberts plans to double down on bet with Bochy
With the Dodgers falling short of winning the NL West for a ninth consecutive season, manager Dave Roberts had to make good on a bet with former Giants skipper Bruce Bochy.
“I did lose a bet to Bruce Bochy. I lost a dinner and a nice bottle of Bordeaux because we didn’t win the division,” Roberts revealed before the Wild Card Game. “He had the Giants, I had the Dodgers.
However, Roberts planned to raise the stakes with Bochy ahead of the NLDS. “I’m going to shoot him a text,” Roberts said after the Wild Card Game. “We’re going to go double or nothing for the series.”
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