The 2020 National League Champion Series is set, and for all the concern of a watered-down postseason field this year, we’ll see two of the league’s top three records square off when the 43-17 Dodgers take on the 35-25 Braves.
Atlanta and Los Angeles both feature powerhouse offenses, as the two were separated by just one run during regular season play atop the National League leaderboard; the Dodgers scored an NL-best 349 runs to the Braves’ 348. The Dodgers posted a team 122 wRC+ to the Braves’ 121.
It’s a different story on the pitching front, where an injury-plagued Atlanta club saw its rotation post an NL-worst 5.51 ERA to the Dodgers’ NL-best 3.29 mark. The Braves, however, have a pair of high-end arms fronting a top-heavy rotation: Cy Young candidate Max Fried and breakout rookie Ian Anderson. Former No. 5 overall pick Kyle Wright dominated in his postseason debut yesterday when he blanked the Marlins over six innings and piled up seven strikeouts. As for the bullpens? These are the National League’s two best in terms of both ERA and FIP.
Both teams swept a division rival in the NLDS. The Dodgers ended a breakout 2020 showing for the upstart Padres, while the Braves cut short a Cinderella season for a Marlins club that very few pegged as a playoff contender. The end result is a star-studded NLCS that will pit Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager and the rest of the Dodgers against Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, Fried and the Braves. We’ve yet to see these clubs square off in 2020, but this best-of-seven series should pack plenty of intrigue.
We’re three days out from Game 1, which will take place on Monday evening. MLBTR readers, who are you taking? (Link to poll for Trade Rumors mobile app users)