Both of the National League Division Series kick off today! Here's a quick look at each.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Washington Nationals
(NL West vs. NL East)
First pitch: 2:38 p.m. (Clayton Kershaw vs. Max Scherzer)
Preview: Two teams who make the playoffs often but never seem to do anything once they get there. I checked the rules and one of them has to win this series.
Former A’s: Josh Reddick, Rich Hill, and Joe Blanton for the Dodgers ... Gio Gonzalez, Marc Rzepczynski, Stephen Drew, and Blake Treinen (sort of) for the Nats. Three thoughts: 1. There are beloved names on both sides, 2. That is only a small percentage of the Dodgers’ contingent of former A’s, and 3. I thought I was done writing Scrabble’s name, but they reeled me back in.
Rooting interest? You could go either way. If you root against L.A. no matter what, that’s always acceptable. But it’s also okay to pull for the Dodgers just because it would piss off Giants fans if they won, or because you love Reddick and Hill, or because Kershaw is legitimately an all-time great. Or, you could pull for the Nats, who have never even been to a World Series before in their 48-year franchise history.
|LOS ANGELES DODGERS||WASHINGTON NATIONALS|
|Chase Utley - 2B||Trea Turner - CF|
|Corey Seager - SS||Bryce Harper - RF|
|Justin Turner - 3B||Jayson Werth - LF|
|Adrian Gonzalez - 1B||Daniel Murphy - 2B|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Anthony Rendon - 3B|
|Joc Pederson - CF||Ryan Zimmerman - 1B|
|Yasmani Grandal - C||Danny Espinosa - SS|
|Andrew Toles - LF||Pedro Severino - C|
|Clayton Kershaw - LHP||Max Scherzer - RHP|
* * *
San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs
(Wild Card vs. NL Central)
First pitch: 6:08 p.m. (Johnny Cueto vs. Jon Lester)
Preview: One team has won three of the last six World Series because every stupid little thing always goes right. The other hasn’t won since 1908 because every stupid little thing always goes wrong.
Former A’s: Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, and Chris Coghlan for the Cubs ... Jeff Samardzija and Jairo Garcia for the Giants. That’s a lot of names, but most of them only spent a couple months with the A’s (and Russell never actually reached Oakland).
Rooting interest? Cubs.
|SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Gorkys Hernandez - CF||Dexter Fowler - CF|
|Brandon Belt - 1B||Kris Bryant - 3B|
|Buster Posey - C||Anthony Rizzo - 1B|
|Hunter Pence - RF||Ben Zobrist - LF|
|Angel Pagan - LF||Addison Russell - SS|
|Brandon Crawford - SS||Jason Heyward - RF|
|Kelby Tomlinson - 2B||Javier Baez - 2B|
|Conor Gillaspie - 3B||David Ross - C|
|Johnny Cueto - RHP||Jon Lester - LHP|
* * *
Who are you rooting for? Join the conversation in the comments!