The Los Angeles Dodgers are hosting the New York Yankees at Dodger Stadium this weekend in what is a potential World Series preview between the teams with the two best records in baseball.
The series opener was all Yankees, as National League Cy Young candidate Hyun-Jin Ryu got roughed up to the tune of nine hits and seven runs in just 4.1 innings. The Dodgers pitching staff gave up a season-high five home runs, and the Yankees cruised to a 10-2 victory.
While winning is obviously preferred, the Dodgers are treating the series against the Yankees just like any other regular-season matchup. Before the first game even started, Walker Buehler downplayed its importance, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“It’s three games in late August,” said pitcher Walker Buehler, dismissing talk of a World Series preview. “There’s a long time to go between now and any time when we might play them. I think the importance of it is for baseball as a whole just because it’s two historic franchises. Anything other than that is a little ridiculous. … Obviously, you know about Brooklyn and New York. But I’m worrying about the 2019 Dodgers, to be honest.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts agreed, stating that the World Series is still too far in the future to worry about:
“Any talk of the World Series – we’re a long way from that. Up to this point, both teams are having a good season,” Roberts said. “I really don’t believe, regardless of the outcome of these three games, it’s going to impact anything going forward.”
Kenley Jansen, who has pitched in a lot of big games in his career, feels a little differently about this weekend. He is looking forward to facing one of the Dodgers’ biggest historic rivals to see how they stack up against them:
“For me, it does,” Jansen said, calling it “a big deal. “You talk about two of the biggest organizations in baseball – and I would say not only in baseball. Overall, you talk about Dodgers, Yankees, Lakers, Celtics, Real Madrid, Barcelona. Those are the teams. You feel like you’re in the major leagues – ‘Damn, we’re playing the Yankees.’ The only (bad) part of it is you’re not seeing the true uniforms. Bad timing. That’s really bad timing.”
While defeating the Yankees may not do anything for the Dodgers psychologically, it will help them secure the best overall record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason. After dropping the series opener, Los Angeles’ bounced back with a win to again take a two-game lead over New York.