The Arizona Diamondbacks have had a rollercoaster of a season, but as we know, what happens from April through September doesn’t always dictate October outcomes. Despite finishing with 84 wins, the Diamondbacks managed to secure a wild card spot, setting the stage for a showdown with the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers. As the series begins, here are nine key concerns the Dodgers should keep in mind:
1. The Speedy Diamondbacks
Arizona emerged as one of the speediest teams in the majors, ranking second with 166 stolen bases. Led by Corbin Carroll, who had an impressive 54 steals, they keep the pressure on defenses by advancing from first to third on singles and taking extra bases whenever possible. To counter this, the Dodgers need to secure early leads and maintain their advantage, limiting Arizona’s opportunities to run.
2. The Rise of Christian Walker
Christian Walker may not have All-Star accolades, but he’s quietly become a force to be reckoned with. In the last two seasons, he’s recorded a combined 69 home runs and 197 RBIs. His consistency and power at the plate pose a significant threat to the Dodgers’ pitching staff. Shutting down Walker will be crucial for LA’s success.
3. Corbin Carroll’s All-Around Prowess
Corbin Carroll, the first rookie in MLB history to hit 25 homers and steal 50 bases in a season, brings more than just power and speed to the Diamondbacks. His .285 batting average, .868 OPS, and outstanding defensive plays make him a well-rounded threat. The Dodgers must be prepared for his multifaceted skills.
4. Zac Gallen’s Cy Young Potential
Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly may have struggled in their recent outings against the Dodgers, but don’t underestimate their capabilities. Gallen, in particular, is a Cy Young Award candidate, boasting a 3.47 ERA in 34 starts with impressive strikeout numbers. The Dodgers need to find a way to neutralize his pitching prowess.
5. The Reinforced Bullpen
The Diamondbacks addressed their bullpen issues by acquiring Paul Sewald from Seattle. With a 3.57 ERA and 13 saves, Sewald strengthens the closing role. Additionally, Kevin Ginkel and Ryan Thompson provide depth and reliability in relief. The Dodgers will need to navigate this well-structured bullpen in late-game situations.
6. September Dominance
The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has been nothing short of dominant in September, boasting a 2.31 ERA, the third-best in the league. This impressive late-season form extends to their pitching, which is a significant asset in playoff scenarios. The Dodgers must be prepared for a resilient Arizona team in this regard.
7. Playoff Upset Potential
The Diamondbacks have already pulled off an upset by sweeping Milwaukee in a best-of-three series despite scoring just three runs in their final five regular-season games. Their streaky and unpredictable nature makes them dangerous contenders who can potentially disrupt the Dodgers’ playoff aspirations.
8. Dodger’s Recent Dominance
While the Dodgers won eight out of thirteen games against Arizona in the regular season, including their last five matchups, they shouldn’t become complacent. Arizona’s recent performance shows that they can turn the tide when it matters most.
9. Learning from the Phillies
Last year, the Philadelphia Phillies reached the World Series with an 87-75 regular-season record, proving that regular-season statistics don’t always translate to postseason success. The Dodgers should heed this lesson and approach their series with the Diamondbacks with caution and respect, knowing that anything can happen in October.
In summary, as the Dodgers prepare to face the Diamondbacks, they must acknowledge the various concerns outlined here. While they may be favored, the Diamondbacks have the potential to upset the balance, and only by addressing these concerns can the Dodgers secure their path to victory in this division series.
Additional Topics to Keep an Eye On
What is the Dodgers lineup?
The Los Angeles Dodgers boast a formidable lineup packed with talent and versatility. With a mix of power hitters and contact specialists, the Dodgers’ lineup is a force to be reckoned with. Some key players to watch include Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner, who provide both offensive firepower and defensive prowess. Additionally, they have a deep bench, allowing for strategic substitutions in crucial moments. The Dodgers’ lineup is a well-rounded combination of seasoned veterans and rising stars, making them a formidable team in the league.
Who did Dodgers get rid of?
The Los Angeles Dodgers made several notable player moves recently. On August 31, 2023, they sent R. Pepiot to the minors, while releasing R. Sherriff. They also recalled S. Miller from a minors rehab assignment and removed him from the 60-Day IL, where he was recovering from neck pain. These transactions reflect the team’s ongoing efforts to manage their roster effectively as they navigate the challenges of the season.
What is the Dodgers pitching lineup?
The Los Angeles Dodgers have a dynamic pitching rotation that combines seasoned veterans and emerging talents. Their lineup includes ace pitchers like Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler, known for their precision and ability to handle high-pressure situations. In addition, the Dodgers have a strong bullpen with reliable relievers, ensuring flexibility during games. This well-balanced pitching staff is a key asset for the team as they strive for success in the season.
Do the Dodgers still exist?
Yes, the Dodgers do still exist. Originally founded in Brooklyn, the team relocated to Los Angeles, California, in 1957. Since then, they have continued their legacy as the Los Angeles Dodgers, becoming a prominent and enduring franchise in Major League Baseball.
Who has won most World Series?
The New York Yankees
The New York Yankees, representing the American League (AL), have a remarkable World Series history. They have participated in 40 World Series events, securing an impressive 27 victories. This record establishes them as the team with the most championship appearances and wins in the major North American professional sports leagues.
What players left the Dodgers 2023?
In 2023, the Los Angeles Dodgers witnessed several player departures. Justin Turner, a prominent figure, left the team on November 10 and joined the Boston Red Sox. Additionally, Cody Bellinger, Edwin Ríos, and Luke Williams all departed on November 18, heading to the Chicago Cubs. Williams, specifically, transitioned to the Oklahoma City Dodgers. These player movements marked significant changes within the Dodgers’ roster for the 2023 season.