Before the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers face off in the postseason for the first time ever, we asked Keith Rivas from LA Sports Hub seven questions about the “Boys In Blue” ahead of game one of the NLDS Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles.
Here are his responses:
Q: What does the D-backs recent success against Los Angeles mean for this series?
A: I think the fact that the Dodgers struggled mightily against Arizona when they had that drastic losing streak will factor into how the series plays out. Always helps with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, but he has a 4-7 playoff record and hasn’t done well overall in the postseason.
Q: Who on the D-backs scares you the most?
A: I would say a tie between J.D. Martinez and Paul Goldschmidt. We saw what Goldschmidt can do early against Colorado, and if that happens to Los Angeles, it is going to be extremely difficult for the Dodgers to get that edge back. Martinez is also the kind of guy that can connect at the right moment and if they were to both have huge games it presents a major issue for Los Angeles.
Q: Cody Bellinger has not had great numbers against the D-backs this season? What do you expect from?
A: Despite his numbers not being great thus far against Arizona, I do feel that Cody Bellinger is going to shine versus the Diamondbacks in the NLDS. In the series, I would expect a few home runs but have his focus be playing good defense. He only needs to step up on offense if the rest of their lineup can’t come through, so I would hope he avoids the unnecessary pressure.
Q: Are you concerned about Corey Seager‘s struggles and the drama surrounding him?
A: Corey Seager’s issues do worry me to the extent that he won’t be a dynamic difference in this series like fans hope. I think it’s going to be a noticeable difference in how the Dodgers play because of what he’s dealing with, but I don’t see him being the reason the ship could sink.
A: Because I think Dave Roberts likes a challenge.
Q: Who is an x-factor on the Dodgers D-backs fans should keep an eye on?
A: I think the x-factor player on the Dodgers that Arizona should pay close attention to is Yasiel Puig. He’s the only Dodgers power hitter who I think can really change this series and swing things in their favor when they need a big hit or a scoring play.
He’s got a pretty good arm, too.
Q: How do you see the series playing out?
A: I see the series playing out in four games and Los Angeles losing three straight after winning Game 1. Some might think that’s ridiculous, but my honest take on how this team deals with playoff pressure (is) it has been anything but impressive the last few years and I don’t have a sense of what’s different this time around.