Sep 19, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) celebrates in the clubhouse after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 to clinch the NL West title at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

Which Club Is The Dodger's Easiest Division Series Opponent?

Now that the Dodgers have finally clinched the NL West division crown, they can rest, relax, and focus on securing home field advantage. With the Dodgers clinching this early with nine games left will have to wait and see how the rest of the National League playoff field shapes up. We won’t know who the Dodgers will play until probably the last game of the season on September 29.

The question I ask today is who would you like to see the Dodgers face in the postseason? And who do you think would be the best opponent for the Dodgers to face in the division series?

Which Team Do You Want To See Face The Dodgers In The Division Series?

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When I ask who is the best opponent to face, I mean who would be the easiest for the Dodgers to beat. Some of your may answer in different ways. Some people want to see the Dodgers play the Braves because they don’t like them, or the Cardinals for revenge of the 1985 playoffs. But I don’t care about any of that. I want the Dodgers to play the team they have the best chance of beating. But among the other National League playoff contenders, who fits that bill?

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw celebrates in the clubhouse after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 to clinch the NL West title at Chase Field.-Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are unlikely to play the Braves in the first round since they will probably be the number one seed. Which leaves the three NL Central teams. How would the Dodgers fare against the Pirates, Cardinals, or Reds?

I think that the best case scenario for the Dodgers would be to NOT have to play the Reds, or have to go into Cincinnati for games 1 and 2 of the NLDS. I think the Reds are a real sleeper team in the NL this year. We already saw how touch they are at home when they swept the Dodgers earlier this month.

How have the Dodgers played against each of these three clubs in 2013? Let’s take a look and see which team the Dodgers may have the advantage against.

Vs. Pittsburgh-2013 record-4-3

The Dodgers won four of their seven games against the Pirates. They swept the the at Dodger Stadium, and lost two of three at PNC Park in June. The Dodgers normally play pretty well in Pittsburgh over the years. They hit well there too.

Dodger’s pitchers versus Pirates in 2013

NAME GP GS W L SV HLD IP H ER HR BB SO K/9 P/GS WHIP ERA
Brandon League 3 0 0 0 3 0 3.0 2 0 0 1 1 3.00 0.0 1.00 0.00
J.P. Howell 2 0 0 0 0 0 2.2 0 0 0 0 3 10.13 0.0 0.00 0.00
Ronald Belisario 2 0 0 0 0 1 2.2 1 0 0 0 1 3.38 0.0 0.38 0.00
Paco Rodriguez 4 0 0 0 0 3 2.1 1 0 0 0 4 15.43 0.0 0.43 0.00
Peter Moylan 1 0 1 0 0 0 1.0 1 0 0 2 1 9.00 0.0 3.00 0.00
Clayton Kershaw 2 2 1 0 0 0 14.0 5 1 0 4 17 10.93 1623.5 0.64 0.64
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 1 1 0 0 0 6.1 3 2 1 2 6 8.53 2890.0 0.79 2.84
Kenley Jansen 3 0 0 0 0 2 2.2 1 1 1 1 4 13.50 0.0 0.75 3.38
Stephen Fife 1 1 0 1 0 0 5.0 6 2 0 3 4 7.20 849.0 1.80 3.60
Zack Greinke 2 2 1 1 0 0 11.1 10 5 1 2 9 7.15 1326.0 1.06 3.97
Matt Guerrier 3 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 4 2 1 1 4 15.43 0.0 2.14 7.71
Chris Withrow 1 0 0 0 0 1 0.2 1 1 0 1 2 27.00 0.0 3.00 13.50
Totals 6 6 4 2 3 7 54.0 35 14 4 17 56 9.33 2426.5 0.96 2.33

Dodger’s hitters versus Pirate’s pitching in 2013

NAME GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS OWAR
Yasiel Puig 3 13 1 6 0 0 0 0 6 0 3 1 .462 .462 .462 .923 0.0
Nick Punto 5 11 3 5 1 0 0 1 6 2 1 1 .455 .538 .545 1.084 0.0
Andre Ethier 5 18 2 8 1 0 1 4 12 1 2 0 .444 .474 .667 1.140 0.0
Adrian Gonzalez 6 24 2 9 4 0 0 5 13 1 3 0 .375 .400 .542 .942 0.0
Carl Crawford 3 11 3 4 1 0 0 0 5 1 3 2 .364 .417 .455 .871 0.0
Mark Ellis 6 17 1 5 0 0 0 2 5 1 6 1 .294 .316 .294 .610 0.0
Jerry Hairston Jr. 4 8 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 .250 .333 .375 .708 0.0
Zack Greinke 2 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 .250 .250 .250 .500 0.0
A.J. Ellis 5 14 1 3 1 0 0 0 4 2 5 0 .214 .313 .286 .598 0.0
Matt Kemp 3 10 2 2 2 0 0 2 4 1 3 0 .200 .250 .400 .650 0.0
Juan Uribe 3 8 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 0 .125 .222 .125 .347 0.0
Hanley Ramirez 3 10 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 .100 .100 .100 .200 0.0
Justin Sellers 3 10 1 1 0 0 1 1 4 1 3 0 .100 .182 .400 .582 0.0
Skip Schumaker 4 12 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 .083 .083 .083 .167 0.0
Luis Cruz 4 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Tim Federowicz 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 0 .000 .286 .000 .286 0.0
Alex Castellanos 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ramon Hernandez 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Clayton Kershaw 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .750 .000 .750 0.0
Stephen Fife 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Matt Guerrier 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Brandon League 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
J.P. Howell 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Peter Moylan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Kenley Jansen 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ronald Belisario 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Chris Withrow 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Paco Rodriguez 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Totals 6

194

18

49

11

0

2

18

66

17

42

5

.253

.310

.340

.650

Batting stars vs. Pirates-Several Dodgers just bludgeon Pirate pitching this season. Puig is batting .462, Nick Punto is battig .455, Andre Ethier .444 with a home run, and Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .375. Overall the Dodgers hit .253 with a .650 OPS against the Pirates, with only two home runs this year.

Pitching stars- Clayton Kershaw of course. The Cy young lefty is 1-0 with a 0.64 ERA against Pittsburgh this season. He has whiffed 17 in 14 frames, and walked just four. Believe it or not, but Brandon League has three saves and three scoreless frames against the Pirates. The Dodger hurlers have a 2.33 ERA against the Pirates.

Vs. Cardinals- 2013 record-4-3

Dodger’s pitchers versus Cardinals in 2013

Pitching
NAME GP GS W L SV HLD IP H ER HR BB SO K/9 P/GS WHIP ERA
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 1 1 0 0 0 7.0 5 0 0 0 7 9.00 2890.0 0.71 0.00
Paco Rodriguez 6 0 1 0 1 0 6.0 2 0 0 0 2 3.00 0.0 0.33 0.00
Ricky Nolasco 1 1 1 0 0 0 5.0 7 0 0 1 5 9.00 1181.0 1.60 0.00
J.P. Howell 2 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 0 0 0 1 3 9.00 0.0 0.33 0.00
Kenley Jansen 2 0 0 0 0 1 2.1 3 0 0 0 6 23.14 0.0 1.29 0.00
Carlos Marmol 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.1 0 0 0 1 2 13.50 0.0 0.75 0.00
Javy Guerra 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 0 0 0 0 2 27.00 0.0 0.00 0.00
Ted Lilly 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.1 2 1 0 1 3 5.06 407.0 0.56 1.69
Zack Greinke 1 1 1 0 0 0 6.1 8 2 0 1 4 5.68 2652.0 1.42 2.84
Clayton Kershaw 2 2 0 2 0 0 13.0 13 6 0 5 10 6.92 1623.5 1.38 4.15
Ronald Belisario 3 0 0 0 0 1 2.0 4 1 0 1 0 0.00 0.0 2.50 4.50
Chris Withrow 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.0 3 1 0 0 2 9.00 0.0 1.50 4.50
Chris Capuano 1 1 0 1 0 0 5.0 6 5 2 3 4 7.20 1620.0 1.80 9.00
Matt Guerrier 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 1 2 0 3 1 5.40 0.0 2.40 10.80
Brandon League 2 0 0 0 1 0 1.1 2 3 2 1 2 13.50 0.0 2.25 20.25
Totals 7 7 4 3 2 2 62.0 56 21 4 18 53 7.69 2079.9 1.19 3.05

Pitching stars vs. Cardinals- As you can see nobody really stands out against the Cardinals. Kershaw has struggled with an 0-2 record, and a 4.15 ERA. The standout here would be Hyun-jin Ryu The rookie left hander has pitched seven scoreless frames against the Cardinals. For relievers, Paco is tops with six shutout frames hurled against the Red Birds, and a save.

Dodger hitters versus Cardinals in 2013

Batting
NAME GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS OWAR
Tim Federowicz 1 5 2 3 0 0 0 0 3 1 2 0 .600 .667 .600 1.267 0.0
Zack Greinke 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0.0
Carl Crawford 7 27 6 13 4 0 0 1 17 3 3 1 .481 .533 .630 1.163 0.0
Nick Punto 6 13 4 6 2 0 0 0 8 4 3 0 .462 .588 .615 1.204 0.0
Skip Schumaker 6 15 1 6 0 0 0 4 6 0 2 0 .400 .400 .400 .800 0.0
Yasiel Puig 4 15 3 6 1 1 0 0 9 4 4 0 .400 .526 .600 1.126 0.0
Dee Gordon 5 16 1 5 0 0 0 1 5 2 2 1 .313 .389 .313 .701 0.0
Adrian Gonzalez 7 26 5 8 1 0 2 9 15 5 4 0 .308 .406 .577 .983 0.0
Jerry Hairston Jr. 2 7 1 2 0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 .286 .286 .286 .571 0.0
Juan Uribe 7 19 0 5 4 0 0 1 9 1 3 0 .263 .300 .474 .774 0.0
Andre Ethier 7 27 3 6 1 1 0 5 9 3 3 0 .222 .323 .333 .656 0.0
Clayton Kershaw 2 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 .200 .200 .200 .400 0.0
A.J. Ellis 6 20 2 3 0 0 1 4 6 2 7 0 .150 .261 .300 .561 0.0
Mark Ellis 6 24 1 2 1 0 0 1 3 0 2 0 .083 .120 .125 .245 0.0
Matt Kemp 3 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 .000 .125 .000 .125 0.0
Scott Van Slyke 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 .000 .250 .000 .250 0.0
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ted Lilly 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Chris Capuano 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ricky Nolasco 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Paco Rodriguez 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Matt Guerrier 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Brandon League 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
J.P. Howell 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Carlos Marmol 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Kenley Jansen 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ronald Belisario 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Chris Withrow 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Javy Guerra 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Totals

7

239

30

67

14

2

3

30

94

27

48

2

.280

.359

.393

.753

Batting stars- The Dodger’s left fielder Carl Crawford is hitting the Cardinals at a .481 clip. Gonzalez has two home runs against the Red Birds. The Dodgers hit very well against the Cardinals with a .280 average against, and a .753 OPS. Look at their great OBP of .359.

Vs. Reds 2013 record-3-4

Dodger pitchers vs. Reds in 2013

Pitching
NAME GP GS W L SV HLD IP H ER HR BB SO K/9 P/GS WHIP ERA
Chris Capuano 2 2 0 0 0 0 8.1 3 0 0 1 6 6.48 810.0 0.48 0.00
Kenley Jansen 3 0 0 0 2 0 3.0 0 0 0 0 2 6.00 0.0 0.00 0.00
Chris Withrow 2 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 0 0 0 0 7 21.00 0.0 0.00 0.00
Brandon League 1 0 1 0 0 0 2.0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00 0.0 0.50 0.00
Peter Moylan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 27.00 0.0 0.00 0.00
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 1 1 0 0 0 7.0 2 1 1 1 9 11.57 2890.0 0.43 1.29
Clayton Kershaw 2 2 1 0 0 0 15.0 10 3 2 3 15 9.00 1623.5 0.87 1.80
J.P. Howell 3 0 0 1 0 0 3.0 3 1 1 3 2 6.00 0.0 2.00 3.00
Ronald Belisario 4 0 0 1 0 1 3.0 2 1 0 1 2 6.00 0.0 1.00 3.00
Zack Greinke 2 2 0 1 0 0 13.0 14 6 2 2 13 9.00 1326.0 1.23 4.15
Paco Rodriguez 4 0 0 0 0 1 1.2 3 1 0 3 1 5.40 0.0 3.60 5.40
Stephen Fife 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.0 4 2 0 2 1 4.50 0.0 3.00 9.00
Brian Wilson 2 0 0 1 0 0 1.0 1 1 0 1 1 9.00 0.0 2.00 9.00
Carlos Marmol 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.0 2 1 0 1 1 9.00 0.0 3.00 9.00
Totals 7 7 3 4 2 2 63.1 44 17 6 19 61 8.67 2079.9 0.99 2.42

Pitching stars- Kershaw of course, He’s allowed just a 1.80 ERA in 15 frames to the Reds. He’s allowed just three earned runs this year against them with 15 whiffs, and two walks. Chris Capuano has thrown 8.1 scoreless innings, and Ryu has allowed just one run on two hits through seven innings.

The Dodgers pitch well against the Reds, but do they hit well against them?

Dodger hitters against the Reds in 2013

Batting
NAME GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI TB BB SO SB BA OBP SLG OPS OWAR
Dee Gordon 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000 0.0
Chris Capuano 2 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 .500 .500 .500 1.000 0.0
Hanley Ramirez 7 29 3 11 2 0 3 8 22 0 9 2 .379 .379 .759 1.138 0.0
Michael Young 2 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .667 0.0
A.J. Ellis 6 16 1 5 0 0 0 0 5 1 3 0 .313 .389 .313 .701 0.0
Adrian Gonzalez 7 29 2 9 0 0 0 3 9 0 4 0 .310 .310 .310 .621 0.0
Carl Crawford 5 22 1 6 2 0 0 0 8 0 6 0 .273 .273 .364 .636 0.0
Yasiel Puig 7 26 6 7 0 0 2 3 13 2 10 1 .269 .367 .500 .867 0.0
Skip Schumaker 5 12 2 3 1 0 1 2 7 0 2 0 .250 .250 .583 .833 0.0
Mark Ellis 7 19 1 4 0 0 0 0 4 0 3 0 .211 .211 .211 .421 0.0
Jerry Hairston Jr. 4 7 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 0 .143 .250 .143 .393 0.0
Juan Uribe 6 17 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 1 4 0 .118 .167 .176 .343 0.0
Andre Ethier 7 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 6 0 .000 .111 .000 .111 0.0
Tim Federowicz 2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Clayton Kershaw 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Zack Greinke 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Nick Punto 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Elian Herrera 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Stephen Fife 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Hyun-Jin Ryu 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Brandon League 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
J.P. Howell 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Peter Moylan 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Brian Wilson 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Carlos Marmol 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Kenley Jansen 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Ronald Belisario 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Chris Withrow 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Paco Rodriguez 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0
Totals

7

229

16

52

6

0

6

16

76

8

63

3

.227

.263

.332

.594

Batting stars- Hanley Ramirez, all the way. Hanley is hitting .389 with three home runs, eight runs driven in, and 22 total bases against the Reds. Talk about a one man army. Otherwise, the Dodgers don’t hit the Reds at all. They have just a .227 average against, and a .594 OPS. However they have blasted six home runs.

The Dodgers hit the best against the Cardinals, and pitch the best against the Pirates. They hit the worst against the reds. Remember they can’t hit Mat Latos, who dominates the Dodgers, holding them to a .247 average against and a .294 OBP against. The Reds are a dangerous team. They have a strong lineup full of sluggers, and a dominate ptching staff. They’re dynamite at home too.

This is why I am scared to face the Reds in the playoffs. MLB uses head to head records to determine tiebreakers for playoff positioning. The Dodgers hold tiebreakers over the Pirates and Cardinals, due to their seasonal records against those two teams, but do not hold the tiebreaker against the Reds.

It is possible that the Nationals could still catch the Reds and knock them out. If that happened that would be best for the Dodgers, I think. But that’s a long shot with the Reds holding a five game lead in the wild card race with about ten games to play. The worst scenario is the Reds winning the NL Central. As long as the Dodgers don’t have to go on the road at Cincinnati to open the division series, I believe they’ll be fine.

What do you think? Take our poll above and let us know. Who would you like to see the Dodgers play in the Division Series? Who do you think is the easiest team for the Dodgers to face in the playoffs?

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Tags: A.J. Ellis Adrian Gonzalez Andre Ethier Clayton Kershaw Don Mattingly Juan Uribe Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp Yasiel Puig

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