Dodgers News: Dave Roberts Not Underestimating Christian Yelich, Brewers In Wild Card Series

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ journey to the 2020 World Series begins Wednesday night when they host the Milwaukee Brewers in a best-of-three games Wild Card Series.

Due to the expanded postseason, the Dodgers get no advantage for having the best record in baseball. Like all other clubs who qualified for the playoffs, their season could boil down to just three games.

L.A. conceivably is facing one of the easier opponents, with the Brewers sneaking into the postseason with a 29-31 record and as one of the worst hitting teams in the league. They ranked 26th in team batting average (.226), 24th in on-base plus slugging percentage (.702) and 26th in runs scored (247).

Milwaukee’s best player, 2018 National League MVP Christian Yelich, had his worst season in a while, hitting just .205/.356/.430 with 12 home runs and 22 RBI in 58 games.

Despite that, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is urging his team not to take Yelich and the Brewers lightly. “You kind of throw out the stat sheet once you get to the postseason, and understand he’s still a superstar player,” Roberts said on the even of Game 1.

“Ryan Braun has been an All-Star perennially, so you’ve still got to pitch these guys carefully and execute pitches. If we do that and prevent runs, we’ll be fine.”

While the Brewers didn’t hit well this season, they did have a quality pitching staff. Meanwhile, the Dodgers succeeded on both sides of the ball, finishing 43-17.

“I think we match up well against anyone. As far as the Brewers specifically, this is a team that relies heavily on pitching; starting pitching, bullpen, they match up really well,” Roberts said.

“They’ve had position players that have performed over the years that haven’t had the season they’re used to, but still very dangerous. A lot of respect for Counsell and his staff.”

This October represents a rematch of the 2018 NL Championship Series that the Dodgers won in seven games. “I just think you’ve got to expect anything,” Roberts said of facing the Brewers.

“It’s kind of the gamesmanship, whether it’s getting a lineup late, or throwing a pitcher for one hitter and going to the ‘pen. I don’t know what their game plan is, but we’ve just got to be prepared for anything. I really like the way offensively, with the guys that can handle both and the way we structure our lineup, we can sort of combat anything.”

Roberts, Turner discuss difficulty of facing new opponent

Due to the shortened schedule in 2020 and MLB trying to limit travel, this will be the first time all year the Dodgers and Brewers play each other. That’s unlike a normal year where they would have home-and-home series’, which Roberts believes presents some challenges.

“A little bit. You’ve kind of got to go back through some video since you haven’t really seen them up close and personal. I think guys change year to year a little bit. We haven’t seen Devin Williams; seen a lot on video but to see him firsthand would’ve been helpful,” he acknowldged.

“But they have that same dilemma. We’ll see how it plays out. It’s going to be a fun series.”

Justin Turner echoed his manager’s thoughts about facing the Brewers for the first time. “It’s a little different, a little challenging,” he said. “A lot of those guys over there, we haven’t got a chance to see and we probably have some guys on our club they probably haven’t seen either.

“Can’t use it as an excuse, you’ve got to be as prepared as possible, go up there and find a way to get the job done.”

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