The National League Division Series kicks off tonight in the Bay Area. After a long season of the Dodgers chasing the Giants in the NL West, the 2 teams will meet up to decide who will move on to the Championship Series.
With the Giants being the top seed in the NL, they will shame home-field advantage over the Dodgers for the series. That means if it goes all 5 games, 3 of those will be played at Oracle Park. Los Angeles went 5-4 on the regular season.
The Dodgers will also have to shift their defensive alignment plans with the daunting size of the outfield at Oracle Park. When asked about the possibility of using Cody Bellinger more in center, Dave Roberts said that he expects him to start every game in San Francisco.
I think that this ballpark, obviously you’ve got to have a guy that can cover the grass out there. I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be starting all 3 games in centerfield.
Bellinger‘s speed obviously plays up in such a large outfield. But the Dodgers also need to account for AJ Pollock out in left field. Pollock doesn’t seem to be quite 100 percent after a hamstring injury towards the end of the regular season.
But the good thing is that things have started to look up for Bellinger lately with the bat. He earned 2 walks and a base hit in the Wild Card win, and he also stole a pair of bases in that game. Over his last 4 combined games, he has gone 3-for-8 and stolen 3 total bases.
While his bat has not been there in the 2021 season, getting it going at the right time could be just what the Dodgers need.