On paper, Los Angeles and Atlanta were too strong for San Diego and Miami. Numbers and logic do not always rule in the end. This time, yes.
But to say that two sweeps were expected would be an exaggeration. Neither Padres nor Marlins managed to take out another match at the end of these best-of-five series. The Dodgers (43-17) and the Braves (35-25) will therefore meet each other in the National League final, with a ticket to the World Series at stake.
LA reached 14e times the national championship, and joined the St. Louis Cardinals who alone had this record until then.
“The records are cool, the championship is better, ”said third baseman Justin Turner after the victory over Padres. Again this year, very legitimate candidates for top honors, the Dodgers had failed in extremis in 2017 and 2018.
On the menu therefore a duel between two teams that have not met in the regular season. And more importantly, who has been dominant at the mound since the end of the playoffs.
For the Braves, the word is weak. In five games – all victories – Atlanta has allowed just five points … all in the same game, the first of the second round against the Marlins. This means that they have signed four shutouts!
Some other impressive data: They only allowed one homerun, limited the opponent to a .169 stroke average, and for every horizontal goal they recorded 6.56 strikes! In comparison, the Cleveland Indians in the regular season had been the strongest majors in this regard with 3.96 strikes per free pass.
But let’s put a damper on these exceptional numbers. Because the Braves met the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins in those five postseason games. Nothing too scary. Especially compared to what’s coming in this most-of-seven championship series: the Dodgers playlist.
Dodgers who have beaten most major home races this season, followed by the Braves. Who also got the most points … once again followed by the Braves.
And LA has maintained this infernal offensive pace in the playoffs so far, enthroned in all the major collective stats in the National, except the circuits.
Individually, Mookie Betts does not falter (.368, 5 doubles, 4 RBIs). Cody Bellinger (, 316, 1 homer, 5 RBIs), Corey Seager (1 homerun, 4 RBIs) and Will Smith (, 294, 4 RBIs) also have their feet on the ground. The threat can come anywhere.
On the Atlanta side, receiver Travis d’Arnaud is burning, just to name one. In five games, two homers and seven RBIs.
In summary, therefore, Brave’s ability to respond to Dodger’s power should not be underestimated. But while Atlanta pitching staff appeared in those playoffs against less offensive lineups, the Dodgers have been the best of the majors this season and have continued in that direction ever since.
The same was said about the Padres: big order for Braves hitters.
So who will win this time: hitters or pitchers? ” The name of the game is pitching “, we often hear. Hard to find a better scenario to demonstrate it than during this series starting Monday.
Fans in the meat
There will be people in the stands at Globe Life Field in Arlington for this National League Championship. Real people.
Around 11,500 tickets were offered for each game, just over a quarter of the 40,518 seats at the brand new Texas Rangers Stadium.
Their cost? From $ 40 to $ 250 per unit. For the World Series, the value will rise to $ 75 to $ 450 a ticket, cheaper than what has had to be paid in recent years.
These series are being played in neutral territory for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.