Who Takes the NLDS?

Tied at 1 going into the most crucial game of the series, if not the most crucial in the year for both sides, LA will send Brett Anderson to the hill to face the infamous of late Matt Harvey.

Matt has had his fair share of bad publicity in the New York media over the past few weeks. First off it was his innings count limit that shadowed him pitching in the last bit of the season and now it is him not showing up to a compulsory team workout, a day before the NLDS started. In a year where the Mets have a chance to go forward and actually make some waves and with Matt being rather good at throwing a ball, he should probably think about letting his team have the best chance of winning and not try to make everyone hate him.

His reception into Citi Field will be interesting enough tomorrow night but if he loses or gets hit around the park courtesy of the Dodgers, the crowd may turn and start to not want him on their team for much longer. It is a cutthroat city in New York and if they don’t like you then you don’t have much hope.

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Who Will Win the NLDS and Why

Since the 6th of April, opening day at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers have played 162 games and clinched both the NL West and home field advantage in the first round of playoffs, the NLDS. But none of the 162 games during the last 6 months matter anymore as a 5 game series against the New York Mets will decide the fate of the teams.

The major concern with the Dodgers has been who will pitch game 3, the first at Citi Field with Kershaw and Greinke being unable after probably going in the first two. It seems to be between Alex Wood and Brett Anderson, both of whom have showed they can pitch when it matters in tight spots but neither has excelled as of late.

No doubt this is disappointing to Mattingly as the season wound down with him wanting one of the two to step up like Seager has, and taken the starting role, but neither starting pitcher has done that. Wood went 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA in September, not exactly October standard and with Anderson going 1-1 with a 6.20 ERA the decision for Donnie will be hard.

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What Should LA Do With Yasmani Grandal?

AJ Ellis has been red hot of late, hitting .333 since the first of September. This is good for anyone but for AJ and a catcher, a position the Dodgers have struggled with offensively for sometime, this is outstanding. I know it isn’t a whole year’s worth of stats but with the play offs coming round the corner this is a good sign for everyone involved, especially considering Don Mattingly thinks of Ellis as “just a back up”.

Yasmani Grandal is the complete opposite, brought over to help with offense as well as defence with only AJ and Drew Butera being the stock at the time, Yas has definitely done that in his relatively short tenure with LA. However the now injured catcher has some problems, he is 0 for his last 33, he has a bung left shoulder and his swing isn’t what it used to be, especially in this slump.

The first problem that LA and Donnie come up with is simply do they need him. Do the Dodgers need to risk the injury more for the sake of playoffs during September and the early days in October or do they rest him up and get him ready for the run to the pennant. Continue reading

Chase Utley to LA After Long Awaited Trade

Howie Kendrick, Kike Hernandez, Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner. These four are all ahead of Chase Utley in the pecking order for time at second and third base this year with Jimmy Rollins and Adrian Gonzalez seeming sure players at their respective positions.

So why did LA take on Chase? Well in his 12 and a half years in the MLB and also with the Phillies, Chase has been one of the better players on their roster hitting some .282 and being an NL All Star for 6 years with the privilege of having a World Series ring to his name.

The only problem for now is Utley is 36, he is being paid 6 million dollars for the remainder of the year and even though Philadelphia are paying 4 million of it to help the deal go through LA increase their lead in the MLB’s biggest payroll category to $307 million with the Yankees being some $17 million behind in second. Another two million dollars for his by out next year if he doesn’t fit and isn’t needed and this is a pretty expensive deal.

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Mat Latos Sent to the Bullpen

After coming over from Miami with now DFA’d Michael Morse, Mat Latos hasn’t been all that the Dodgers have wanted from the veteran starter. Mat has gone 0-2 in his 3 starts with LA and sporting a 6.75 ERA, one that is considerably worse than his 4.48 with Miami.

Latos’ stats really don’t help him here either, his OBP, OPS, batting average against and slugging percentage are all the highest it’s ever been with a team and his maximum pitches for LA this year are only 85 in 6IP, his best start for LA only giving up 1 run.

Even though he was 4-7 Latos had showed good signs for the year with only giving up 6 earned runs in his last 4 starts over 26IP but going 2-2. Seemingly the problem there, as the Dodgers have sometimes had is the offence not supporting their starting pitchers when they did it.

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What Role Should Kike Hernandez Play?

So far in Kike’s year he has played every position on a major league field except catching, first base and pitching. This is not a bad resume and one that every team would like to have on their team, fortunately enough the Los Angeles Dodgers have this and he’s playing on the bench, but is this the right move for a player hitting .300 in his second year in the big leagues.

Although only 23 Kike has already shown one of the elders on the team taking fake selfies with All Star Adrian Gonzalez and seemingly being one of the leaders for even the middle age guys to look up to.

But should he be starting? The first question that comes to mind is where would he play, second is an All Stars, as is shortstop’s. Over at third there is Justin Turner who is lighting it up this year and in replacement for him Alex Guerrero who was going to be the every day third baseman after the Uribe trade but hasn’t played much there since. The outfield too is pretty crowded and with Carl Crawford coming back from the DL too this looks to be another dead end. So what is in line for Kike?

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13 Player, One Pick Trade Sees LA on top

With the talk surrounding David Price to LA ending after he got dealt to Toronto and then Cole Hamels with his rumour of landing in LA, after his perfect game in Philadelphia coming to a close with his trade to the Rangers the Dodgers were still left with an apparent need for a big name starter. Enter Mat Latos.

The deal was only spoke about for two or three days in the media before it was announced but in the end the deal will have monumental effects on all three teams’ play off runs. For LA they could be a realistic shot at the World Series ring, Atlanta can bolster the bullpen with their additions and also the 70 million dollar man Olivera where as Miami I think just lost out in this deal.

Los Angeles acquired starting pitchers Alex Wood, Mat Latos and Bronson Arroyo, relievers Jim Johnson and Luis Avilan, slugger Michael Morse and infield prospect Jose Peraza. The Dodgers also received cash considerations from both Atlanta and Miami, this wont help though with Morse’s contract coming on board and also Latos’.

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