On Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 in the finale of a four game series. While many fans just viewed this as a good win to cap off the weekend, the win actually had bigger implications for this years playoffs then many people might have realized.
Image: Enrique “Kike” Hernandez hits a game winning home run off Brewers star Josh Hader to win game one of the series / Photo Credit: Dodgerdigest.com
Sunday’s game was the final time these two teams would meet in the regular season. In the first series at Dodger Stadium, the Brewers took two of the three games from the Dodgers. The series then shifted to Miller park for a four game set. The Dodgers took the first two games of the series, but took the loss in game three as the Brewers used the long ball to beat the Dodgers 5-0. This meant that coming into the game Sunday, the season series was tied 3-3 and after the Dodgers got the win thanks to a Cody Bellinger 9th inning home run off Brewers star reliever Josh Hader, the Dodgers officially won the season series 4-3. So why does this matter?
Image: Cody Bellinger preparing to hit a solo home run off Josh Hader in game four of the series / Photo Credit: MLB Youtube thumbnail
Well before we can answer that question, we have to look at why it even matters when these teams play. The teams have been very evenly matched, and have more similarities than many people may realize. Both teams have a MVP caliber left handed hitter, both teams have fantastic bullpens, and both teams have a lot of depth, but that’s not all. Both teams finished the 2018 regular season tied for first place in their division, both teams played a game 163 and won those games to win their division, and both teams made quick work of their first round opponents in the 2018 playoffs. The teams finally got a chance to meet in the playoffs for the first time in last years National League Championship Series, and I can honestly say it was one of the best seven game series’ I have seen in a very long time.
Image: Two of the best in baseball, Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich at first base during game in Milwaukee / Photo Credit: DodgerBlue.com
The teams traded wins in each of the first four games of the series, and the Dodgers were able to grab a commanding 3-2 lead before the series headed back to Milwaukee. The Brewers took game six with ease, and had the momentum going into a crucial game seven at home. In that game seven, the Brewers got on the board in the 1st inning thanks to a Christian Yelich solo home run, but the Dodgers answered in the 2nd inning with a Cody Bellinger 2-run home run, and Yasiel Puig put the exclamation point on the win with a 3-run home run in the 6th inning. The Dodgers pitching was stellar, and the team was able to make it back to their 2nd straight World Series where they would eventually lose to the Boston Red Sox in five games.
Image: Dodgers celebrate winning the 2018 NLCS in Milwaukee / Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports
So back to our original question, why does it matter that the Dodgers won on a Sunday in April? Well, now the Dodgers own the tiebreaker over the Brewers which could have a big impact on the playoffs. Specifically if the Dodgers and the Brewers were to finish with the same record this year, it would be the Dodgers who would have home field advantage if the two teams were to meet again in October, and with how similar these teams have been over the past two years, it not impossible to think we will see these teams finish with a very similar record, and possibly meet again in the 2019 playoffs.
Image: Dodgers celebrate winning their sixth straight NL West title / Photo Credit http://www.NorthJersey.com
Do you think these teams will meet in the playoffs again this year? Who is your pick to win the NL? Leave a comment below and as always, thanks for reading!