Brewers Vs. Dodgers Game 1 Preview: Edwin Rios Starts At Designated Hitter

In posting the best record in baseball during a shortened season, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched an eighth consecutive National League West title and put themselves in position to face the final team that qualified for the NL playoffs.

It took until the last day of the regular season and required some help, but that amounted to the Milwaukee Brewers backing their way into the postseason. They benefitted from an expanded playoff format and now take on the juggernaut Dodgers while being shorthanded.

Prior to this year, the lone postseason meeting the Dodgers and Brewers came in the 2018 NL Championship Series. Milwaukee secured the No. 1 seed in the NL that year, but lost to L.A. in seven games.

Already due to be without top starter Corbin Burnes, the Brewers additionally area heading into Wild Card Series without Brett Anderson and Devin Williams on their postseason roster as well. The loss of Williams is particularly significant as the Brewers figure to heavily rely on their bullpen.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers essentially had an abundance of talent to choose from, and opted to include Matt Beaty, Terrance Gore and Keibert Ruiz on their Wild Card Series roster. Dylan Floro and Gavin Lux were notable omissions.

As for Game 1 specifically, the Dodgers send Walker Buehler to the mound in their first playoff game for a second consecutive year. “I think it’s pretty clear and evident that there’s no lack of confidence in Walker Buehler’s game,” Justin Turner said.

“Over the past couple years whenever we’ve needed a big start out of him — whether that’s Game 163 or a playoff game — he answers the bell. Excited to have him out there tomorrow, and when you hand the ball over to Clayton for Game 2, we’re feeling pretty good.”

While the Dodgers are confident heading into the Wild Card round, manager Dave Roberts emphasized not overlooking Ryan Bruan, Christian Yelich and the Brewers despite their collective struggles in 2020.

Milwaukee starts Brent Suter in what’s likely to be a bullpen game. Suter started four of 16 games this season, with the longest of those outings being four innings in his regular-season finale.

Edwin Rios is the Dodgers’ first-ever designated hitter in a playoff game. Manager Dave Roberts had previously indicated he would rotate three players at DH throughout the postseason.

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
3B: Justin Turner
1B: Max Muncy
C: Will Smith
CF: Cody Bellinger
LF: AJ Pollock
DH: Edwin Rios
2B: Chris Taylor

Brewers lineup

LF: Christian Yelich
RF: Ryan Bruan
1B: Jedd Gyorko
DH: Daniel Vogelbach
CF: Avisail Garcia
SS: Orlando Arcia
3B: Eric Sogard
2B: Keston Hiura
C: Omar Navarez

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