Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
The NLDS features two best teams in the Major Leagues, the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After winning 107 games during the regular season, the Giants took away the National League Western Division title from the Dodgers who had won the Western Division since 2013. The Dodgers who won 106 games during the regular season defeated the Saint Louis Cardinals dramatically in the National League Wild Card game.
On paper, it should be a cake walk for the Dodgers. Although the Giants won the seasonal series and hit the most home runs in the National League, the Dodgers have better pitching staff and batting average and more depth. The Dodgers have more playoff experience.
Both the Giants and the Dodgers are missing their first basemen. Brandon Belt has a broken thumb, and Max Muncy has a dislocated elbow. The Dodgers have many players who can play first base, namely Matt Beaty, Albert Pujols, and Cody Bellinger. However, in San Francisco with its vast center field, manager Dave Roberts wants to play Bellinger in center field because he is much better defender than either Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux.
While the Giants appeared to be a team of destiny during the regular season, their manager Gabe Kapler has never guided a team through the postseason before. Managing through a playoffs is different from managing during the regular season. Roberts has the guts to pull any pitcher, even Max Scherzer, and the Dodgers have a better bullpen than the Giants.
Personally, even as a Dodger fan, I have to choose the Dodgers to win the NLDS if they play flawless defense. The Dodgers will renew their more than a century rivalry with the Giants.