Sep 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers Hanley Ramirez (13) reacts to striking out against Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman (54) [not pictured] during the top of the 9th inning of the game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodger's Biggest Hurdles In The Playoffs


We don’t want to jinx anything or count our chickens before they hatch, so to speak, but with mid-september upon us, our Los Angeles Dodgers  are looking like one of the strongest bets in the MLB to compete for the World Series title. And why not, with how smoothly things have gone since the All Star Break?

Once it was determined that he’d keep his job, skipper Don Mattingly has righted the ship in tremendous fashion, and all of the players we’ve been expecting to dominate have done just that. Then of course you throw in the mind-blowing emergence of Yasiel Puig (despite a few minor controversies), and you get what looks like a relative juggernaut. To put things in perspective, Betfair’s news - which includes a dynamic sports betting casino for online users – has the Dodgers listed as runaway favorites to win the World Series. But again, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. So here’s a look at the three teams most likely to give the Dodgers trouble this postseason.

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1. Atlanta Braves

Oddly, we haven’t actually seen the Braves since a series in LA in June. But in that series and another earlier one in Atlanta, the Dodgers were only 2-5 against a Braves team that has been one of the most consistent in baseball. The Braves are the perfect foil to our lineup, boasting the best ERA in the league, and seem primed for a strong postseason showing.

2. Cincinnati Reds

The Reds seem like a sure thing to make the playoffs, even if it’s as a 2nd wild card, simply because it looks like both wild cards are coming out of the Central Division. Really, there’s nothing on the roster that scares us that much, but it’s worth noting that in the Dodgers’ scorching hot second half, the Reds are the only team to sweep, and did so in Cincinnati just this past week.

3. Boston Red Sox

The Dodgers and Red Sox have an odd sort of link now, due to the blockbuster trade that set up this season for both clubs. Additionally, however, the Red Sox just gave the Dodgers a very tough series in LA, and are looking increasingly like a World Series challenger. Getting by Detroit in the AL will be tough, but a presumptive Sox-Dodgers World Series is a very tough prospect indeed. Jake Peavy seems to have bolstered the Boston rotation with exactly the piece it needed to beat anyone in baseball.

In the end, there’s no reason to call anyone but the Dodgers the World Series favorite at this point – and as we know, anything can happen in the postseason. But at this point, these three teams would seem to be the biggest potential hurdles for the Dodgers.

(Author Bio- Gavin Kirby is a freelance writer specializing in sports.  He loves watching, analyzing and playing a variety of sports, but his favorites are baseball and hockey.  When he’s not at a game, he can be found experimenting with the latest technologies or spending time with his family.)

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Tags: Adrian Gonzalez Don Mattingly Los Angeles Dodgers Yasiel Puig