- Associated Press - Thursday, October 5, 2017

A look at the best-of-five National League Division Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers:


Schedule: (All times EDT) Game 1, Friday, at Los Angeles, 10:31 p.m.; Game 2, Saturday, at Los Angeles, 9:08 p.m.; Game 3, Monday, Oct. 9, at Arizona, TBA; x-Game 4, Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Arizona, TBA; x-Game 5, Thursday, Oct. 12, at Los Angeles, TBA. (All games on TBS).

x-if necessary.


Season Series: Diamondbacks won 11-8.


Projected Lineups:

Diamondbacks: LF David Peralta (.293, 14 HRs, 57 RBIs), SS Ketel Marte (.260, 5, 18 in 73 games), 1B Paul Goldschmidt (.297, 36, 120, 94 BBs, .966 OPS), RF J.D. Martinez (.303, 45, 104, 1.066 OPS with Tigers and Diamondbacks), 3B Jake Lamb (.248, 30, 105), CF A.J. Pollock (.266, 14, 49 in 112 games), 2B Daniel Descalso (.233, 10, 51 in 131 games) or Brandon Drury (.267, 13, 63, 37 doubles), C Chris Iannetta (.254, 17, 43, .354 OBP) or Jeff Mathis (.215, 2, 11 in 60 games).

Dodgers: CF Chris Taylor (.288, 21, 72, 17 SBs), SS Corey Seager (.295, 22, 77), 3B Justin Turner (.322, 21, 71, 56 Ks, 59 BBs), 1B Cody Bellinger (.267, 39, 97), LF Curtis Granderson (.212, 26, 64, .323 OBP with Mets and Dodgers; .161, 7, 12, .288 OBP in 36 games with Dodgers), 2B Logan Forsythe (.224, 6, 36) or Chase Utley (.236, 8, 34), C Yasmani Grandal (.247, 22, 58), RF Yasiel Puig (.263, 28, 74, 15 SBs).


Starting Pitchers:

Diamondbacks: RH Taijuan Walker (9-9, 3.49), LH Robbie Ray (15-5, 2.89, 218 Ks, 162 IP in 28 starts), RH Zack Greinke (17-7, 3.20, 215 Ks in 202 1/3 IP), LH Patrick Corbin (14-13, 4.03 ERA, 189 2/3 IP in 33 games, 32 starts) or RH Zack Godley (8-9, 3.37, 165 Ks, 155 IP in 26 games, 25 starts).

Dodgers: LH Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.31, 202 Ks, 30 BBs, 23 HRs allowed in 27 starts, 175 IP), LH Rich Hill (12-8, 3.32, 166 Ks in 25 starts, 135 2/3 IP), RH Yu Darvish (10-12, 3.86, 209 Ks, 27 HRs allowed in 31 starts with Rangers and Dodgers), LH Alex Wood (16-3, 2.72 in 27 games, 25 starts).



Diamondbacks: RH Fernando Rodney (5-4, 4.23, 39/45 saves, .200 opponents’ batting average), RH Archie Bradley (3-3, 1.73, 79 Ks in 73 IP), LH Andrew Chafin (1-0, 3.51, 61 Ks, 51 1/3 IP in 71 games), RH David Hernandez (2-1, 4.82), LH Jorge De La Rosa (3-1, 4.21 in 65 games), RH Jimmie Sherfy (2-0, 0.00, 1 save in 10 2/3 IP).

Dodgers: RH Kenley Jansen (5-0, 1.32, 41/42 saves, tied for NL lead), RH Josh Fields (5-0, 2.84, 2 saves), LH Tony Cingrani (0-0, 4.22, 52 Ks, 12 BBs, 42 2/3 IP in 47 games with Reds and Dodgers; 2.79 in 22 games with Dodgers), RH Brandon Morrow (6-0, 2.06, 2 saves), LH Tony Watson (7-4, 3.38, 10 saves in 71 games with Pirates and Dodgers; 2-1, 2.70 in 24 games with Dodgers), RH Pedro Baez (3-6, 2.95), RH Ross Stripling (3-5, 3.75, 2 saves), RH Walker Buehler (1-0, 7.71, 12 Ks, 8 BBs in 9 1/3 IP) or RH Kenta Maeda (13-6, 4.22, 1 save in 29 games, 25 starts) or LH Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-9, 3.77, 1 save in 25 games, 24 starts) or RH Brandon McCarthy (6-4, 3.98 in 19 games, 16 starts).



The wild-card Diamondbacks won the last six meetings of the regular season. Arizona and Colorado were the only teams to have a winning record against the Dodgers this year. … Greinke pitched for the Dodgers from 2013-15 and went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA during his final season with the team, finishing second in NL Cy Young Award voting. He left for a $206.5 million, six-year contract with the Diamondbacks before the 2016 season. The four-time All-Star was 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA against Los Angeles this year. … Ray could be a big factor in this series. He dominated the Dodgers during the regular season, going 3-0 in five starts with a 2.27 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings. He even went 5 for 12 (.417) at the plate with two RBIs. But he threw 34 pitches over 2 1/3 innings in relief after Greinke faltered during the wild-card win over Colorado, so the left-hander probably won’t be available until Game 2 at the earliest - on two days’ rest. If he starts that one, he could pitch a decisive Game 5 on full rest. … Walker was 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA vs. Los Angeles this season. He allowed only one home run in three starts. Corbin went 0-2 with a 5.06 ERA in two starts. Rodney had seven saves but an 8.64 ERA in 10 appearances. Bradley compiled a 1.42 ERA in 10 outings. … Martinez had five homers, eight RBIs and a whopping .824 slugging percentage and 1.208 OPS in nine games against the Dodgers. Goldschmidt had four homers, 13 RBIs and a .959 OPS in 16 games. Lamb had six homers, 14 RBIs and a .938 OPS. Iannetta totaled four homers, eight RBIs and a 1.111 OPS. … Taylor batted .346 with three homers and a .989 OPS against Arizona this year. Grandal hit .340 with a .940 OPS and seven RBIs. Turner was at .304 with three homers, nine RBIs and a .958 OPS. Seager batted .300, but Puig struggled at .214 in 18 games. He did have two homers and 10 RBIs. … Arizona pitching held Bellinger to a .179 batting average in 11 games, with one homer and two RBIs. Utley was 1 for 24 vs. the Diamondbacks this year. … Kershaw won both his starts against Arizona this season, compiling a 0.59 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings. Wood was 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA in four games, three starts. Hill went 0-3 with a 5.03 ERA in four starts. Maeda was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in five starts. Jansen had five saves and 10 Ks in six appearances covering six innings. … First-year Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said he thinks the Dodgers intimidated opponents during their 56-11 tear this season, but his team enjoys the challenge of playing them.


Big Picture:

Diamondbacks: Arizona (93-69) flipped its record after going 69-93 last year. Lovullo preached communication from the first day of spring training and repeatedly uses the word “love” to describe team chemistry. New general manager Mike Hazen chose not to overhaul the roster, saying he saw enough talent. Instead, he tinkered around the edges. … Arizona got off to a 6-1 start and was 44-26 on June 18 after a seven-game winning streak. Although the Diamondbacks couldn’t keep up with the torrid pace set by Los Angeles in the NL West, they were in the playoff picture throughout. A franchise-record 13-game winning streak late in the season helped secure the No. 1 wild card. … Arizona built an early 6-0 lead for Greinke in the wild-card game against Colorado, but he fizzled quickly in the fourth inning and the Diamondbacks had to hold on late for an 11-8 victory. They got a huge hit from an unlikely source in Bradley, who drove home two runs in the seventh with the first triple by a relief pitcher in postseason history. That was one of four three-baggers for the Diamondbacks, including two by Marte. … While the lineup was expected to be good this season, Arizona also got strong pitching. Only the Indians and Dodgers had a better ERA than the Diamondbacks (3.66). … Goldschmidt led the offense most of the year but faded in September. That didn’t matter much because of the powerhouse performance by Martinez. Acquired from Detroit on July 18 for three minor leaguers, Martinez hit .302 with 29 homers and 65 RBIs in 62 games with the Diamondbacks. He was NL player of the month for September, when he batted .404 with 26 runs, eight doubles, 16 homers and 36 RBIs in 24 games. … Goldschmidt ended the season in an 0-for-17 slump and batted .171 over the final month, but launched a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw in the wild-card game. … Greinke is scheduled to start Game 3 at home, where he went 13-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 116 innings during the regular season.

Dodgers: After beginning the year with big expectations and a major league-high $226 million payroll, the Dodgers went on a 56-11 tear in the middle of the season to leave the rest of their division in the dust. Then they lost 11 in a row, the team’s worst skid since moving West in 1958, and 16 of 17 overall. They finally regrouped in September after a 5-20 stretch and won their fifth straight NL West title by 11 games over Arizona. Los Angeles (104-58) finished with the best record in the majors, one win shy of the franchise mark set in 1953 back in Brooklyn. Now, the pressure is on. With home-field advantage throughout the postseason, Dodgers are trying to reach the World Series for the first time since their most recent championship in 1988. Anything short of that would be a major disappointment. … Dodgers have been eliminated twice in the Division Series and twice in the NL Championship Series over the past four years. … Los Angeles went 57-24 at Dodger Stadium, five more wins than any other team had at home. … The roster is relatively healthy and the team’s big lead in the division allowed manager Dave Roberts to rest players down the stretch. … Kershaw missed time with a back injury for the second straight year and wasn’t quite the same afterward. He went 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA to begin the season but 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA in six starts after returning from a lower back strain. … Hill has a 2.77 ERA at home and is slated to start Game 2 there. … Bellinger made his debut April 25 and ended up leading the team in homers, RBIs and runs (87). He went deep every 12.3 at-bats, set an NL rookie record for home runs and finished second in the league to Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton (59). Bellinger batted .250 with five homers in September, ending the season in a 9-for-48 slide. … Seager slumped to .179 in September but went 3 for 3 with a double in the regular-season finale against Colorado. … Longtime slugger Adrian Gonzalez, shut down with a bad back, will travel with the team and try to help off the field.


Watch For:

- One Shining Moment. Despite pitching only 175 innings, Kershaw tied for the major league lead in wins this season and won his fifth NL ERA title. Though he’s had some successful playoff performances over the past two years, what’s missing from his resume is an October to remember. The three-time Cy Young Award winner and 2014 NL MVP is 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA in the postseason.

- Surging Center Fielder. Pollock came on strong at the end of the season after a subpar year at the plate. He batted .363 in September and delivered a two-run triple in the eighth inning of the wild-card game to help Arizona put away Colorado.

- Get Grandy Going. A savvy and disciplined hitter with power, Granderson batted only .183 in September and .212 overall this season with the Mets and Dodgers. He was acquired Aug. 18 for his experienced left-handed bat in the outfield. But the Dodgers are looking for the Granderson who hit .389 to help the Mets eliminate the Dodgers in 2015 NLDS.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide