After six days of rest, the best team in baseball is ready to begin their postseason journey back to the World Series as the Los Angeles Dodgers face off with their division rival the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
The dominant Dodgers shattered the franchise record for wins with 111, by far surpassing every other team in the sport this season. To put their dominance in perspective, the Dodgers were a whopping 22 games ahead of the Padres in the NL West division.
L.A.’s impressive season means they won’t have to go through such a rocky road as they did last postseason when they had to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in an emotional and thrilling one-game Wild Card, then travel to San Francisco in a battle with the rival Giants that lasted five games, followed by a grueling series with the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS that saw the Boys in Blue make two trips to the east coast in the series.
This year, the Dodgers will have home-field advantage throughout the entire season, and plenty of rest, allowing them to set their starting pitching to best beat the Padres.
On the flip side, the Padres have all the momentum after stealing two of three in the Big Apple against the mighty Mets. Which will win out in the NLDS? Rest or momentum?
We’ll find out over the next week, but first, here’s the 26-man roster for the Dodgers in the NLDS:
Yency Almonte, Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin, Brusdar Graterol, Andrew Heaney, Tommy Kahnle, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Martin, Dustin May, Evan Phillips, Blake Treinen, Julio Urias, Alex Vesia.
Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Joey Gallo, Gavin Lux, Max Muncy, Will Smith, Chris Taylor, Trayce Thompson, Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Miguel Vargas.
The Dodgers were required by the new MLB rules to have an even 13 pitchers and 13 position players on the NLDS roster. On the pitchers side, the Dodgers went with right-handers Blake Treinen and Dustin May. Both players were on the injured list heading into the postseason but are healthy now.
Treinen hasn’t pitched since Sept. 4, but apparently the Dodgers have seen enough over the last several days to feel confident he’s healthy enough to pitch in the postseason. The additions of May and Treinen left Craig Kimbrel, Craig Ferguson and David Price off the roster (and likely on the taxi squad).
There’s only one surprise on the position player side, rookie Miguel Vargas made the roster over veteran Hanser Alberto. Vargas has a dynamic upside, but Alberto has been one the cheerleader’s of this team and calls himself “the NL Shohei Ohtani” after multiple relief appearances in blowouts this season.
Thankfully, players on the taxi squad will still be allowed to travel and be in the dugout with their team, so the Dodgers will still have the energy and spirit of Alberto with them in the locker room and dugout during games.
Game 1 of the NLDS is scheduled for 6:37 PM PST and will air live on FS1.