When MLB had pictured a reformatting of the playoffs to fit the bizarre scenario of 2020, it’s hard to imagine they pictured the Division Series become multiple division series. With the San Diego Padres win over the St. Louis Cardinals, they have completed just that.
The all-East/West Division Series are set:
ALDS (AL East): Yankees-Rays
ALDS (AL West): Astros-Athletics
NLDS (NL East): Marlins-Braves
NLDS (NL West): Padres-Dodgers
— Mark Feinsand (@Feinsand) October 3, 2020
Each series has gotten much more tense knowing that teams will be facing off against a team that knows them all too well. For the Dodgers, they head to Arlington to face a young and energized Padres team who would love nothing more than to end LA’s season early. The Padres made a flurry of moves just ahead of this season’s trade deadlines. They upgraded key areas such as the bullpen, catcher, and the starting rotation. They may also be getting a boost to their staff in the Division Series as Dinelson Lamet and Mike Clevinger, who were previously left off of the roster due to injury, could return.
This next series will be a greater hurdle to clear compared to the Milwaukee Brewers, but the Dodgers are more than capable of getting the job done. They have the edge on the Padres this year winning the season series 6-4. Of course, this is the postseason and the past gets thrown out the window. While the Dodgers are clearly the superior team on paper, they’ll have to play the game and secure every opportunity to continue their season.
There is no doubt that a star-studded lineup anchored by Mookie Betts and a rotation with talented arms can push through the Padres. One difference this season that bodes well for the Dodgers is the fight that this team has. They have yet to be shut out all year and have absorbed the absence of impact players at times. Can the Dodgers put the Padres in their place? They definitely can, but only time will tell.