NLDS Preview: 2022
The National League Wild Card games have just finished wrapping up which means it is time to look at the upcoming NLDS matchups.
Phillies vs. Braves
The Phillies are back in the NLDS for the first time since 2011. Carried by elite pitching and timely hits, the Phillies got the job done against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now, they meet the powerhouse that is the Atlanta Braves, a team that is covered head to toe in talent. The Braves are aiming to repeat as back-to-back World Series Champions.
Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola pitched absolute gems when they were given the ball. Both going six innings and shutting out St. Louis’s bats. Ranger Suarez was expected to start game three if the series was extended, but when pitching, he brings a great defensive presence as well.
The Phillies have good pitching, but how does it compare to Atlanta’s starting rotation?
Max Fried is a solid ace and a Gold Glove recipient. Spencer Strider is the possible Rookie of the Year winner, pitching a 2.67 ERA. Kyle Wright has over twenty wins, and Charlie Morton is a savvy veteran.
Kyle Schwarber led the entire National League with 46 home runs. Rhys Hoskins hit 30 longballs, and a hungry Bryce Harper was brought in to put the team over the top.
Let’s not forget about JT Realmuto, arguably the best catcher in the league, both offensively and defensively. Jean Segura, Alec Bohm and Bryson Stott round out the lineup and have all been extremely clutch.
The Braves have a lineup that could make anyone jealous. Dansby Swanson is having a career year, Austin Riley is a force and so is Matt Olson. Michael Harris II also has a chance to win Rookie of the Year, and they have a healthy Ronald Acuña Jr. joining them in the postseason. The Braves can hit the ball far often.
The Phillies have played the Braves well all year round and with the talent that these teams have, we could possibly see a five game series.
Padres vs. Dodgers
A huge unexpected upset of the New York Mets allows the San Diego Padres a chance to fight some demons and take down the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that beat them 14 out of the 19 times they played this year.
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball, winning 111 games in the regular season with one of, if not the best lineup in the whole league.
The Dodgers lineup is just eye popping. Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Mookie Betts are just a few names that helped the Dodgers score a league-best 847 runs.
LA’s rotation has been solid almost all year. Clayton Kershaw has gotten better with age and pitched a 2.28 ERA in the regular season. Tyler Anderson had a huge year, putting up a 15-5 record and a 2.57 ERA. Julio Urías went 17-7 with a 2.16 ERA.
The Padres did a pretty good job limiting the Mets in the Wild Card series. Now they are the underdogs yet again looking to spoil yet another series.
Trent Grisham has been amazing this postseason so far after having a disappointing 2022 season. In the series against the Mets, neither Max Scherzer or Jacob DeGrom could keep him from launching the ball over Citi Field’s walls.
Josh Bell got a hit in all three games, and Juan Soto drove in a couple runs during a crucial do-or-die elimination game. Manny Machado continues to bring his talent to the diamond and could possibly make a case for NL MVP.
The Padres also have a solid rotation. Joe Musgrove was lights out in the final game of the Wild Card series, only allowing one hit. Yu Darvish has been solid yet again this year and had a quality start in game one against the Mets.
Even without Fernando Tatis Jr., the Padres have the talent to make a run in this year’s postseason.
Will they pull off yet another upset, or will the Dodger continue dominating their California neighbor?
Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.