In addition to their usual rivals that reside in the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers have developed new foes over the years based solely on their recent postseason series.
The Dodgers’ first of two consecutive NL West titles from 2013-14 resulted in eventual playoff matchups against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Then from 2016-17, L.A. squared off against the Chicago Cubs in back-to-back NL Championship Series. With different outcomes taking place each year, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts deemed the two teams a good rivalry despite the lack of typical geographic proximity.
More recently, the Dodgers have faced off against additional teams in the postseason. Over the weekend, the club returned to SunTrust Park for the first time since defeating the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 NL Division Series.
Upon being presented with the idea of a rivalry existing, Max Muncy disagreed with the notion, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Muncy's best answer, though, was to a local writer who asked how important it was for the #Dodgers to beat "their rival" the Braves:
"What makes them our rival?"
— Bill Plunkett (@billplunkettocr) August 17, 2019
Heavily favored over the Braves in the 2018 NLDS, the Dodgers eliminated them in four contests, winning the deciding Game 4 on Atlanta’s home turf. It was the Braves first postseason appearance since 2013.
Now on their way to a second consecutive NL East title, the two teams could ultimately face off again this October. The Dodgers took the opener over Atlanta, slugging their way to MLB history. Receiving four home runs on Friday, L.A. became the first team to hit 22 over a five-game span.
The next two contests were more favorable for the Braves. Atlanta handed Hyun-Jin Ryu his third loss of the season on Saturday, coming away with a 4-3 win — their first against the Dodgers in nearly a year.
Then in Sunday’s rubber match, the Braves overcame an early 3-0 deficit with a productive fifth inning, propelled by Rafael Ortega’s game-winning grand slam off Dustin May.
Earlier in May, the Dodgers swept the Braves in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium. It was reminiscent of last October, as L.A. went 2-0 against Atlanta in home contests during the 2018 NLDS.
If the teams are going to add to their postseason history this year, it would likely need to come in the NLCS.