The one relative surprise is Joel Peralta making it over Juan Nicasio in the bullpen. Peralta, 39, had two disabled list stints, one for a pinched nerve in his back and one for a neck sprain, and after he returned in September saw an uptick in velocity.
"When he came back after that, obviously he got healthy, healthier and stronger. His velocity clicked up and I think that was a big difference. He was kind of all of a sudden clicking 90, 91. I know that's not a big number for a lot of relievers. But for him, I think that little tick from the 88, 89, to the 90, 91 every once in a while 92, is a big difference with his pitch mix," manager Don Mattingly said on Thursday. "So creating that difference and just that little bit of velocity, I think has made a big difference with Joel."
Nicasio allowed left-handed batters to hit .348/.477/.493 this season, which factored into why he was left off the 25-man NLDS roster against the Mets.
"It was more about the matchups against the Mets and how they line up. Juan struggles with the lefties. We didn't feel like we were going to get sections with a number of righties together," Mattingly said Friday. "Another team, another circumstance, it could have very easily been Juan."
Carlos Frias was also considered, but with a shortened series and two off days, the Dodgers didn't have much of a need for a long reliever.
"Carlos was a long guy thought," Mattingly explained. "But with this series and the way it might work itself out, it was a tough choice but we didn't feel like we were going to need that length."
The Dodgers are balanced with three right-handed-hitting outfielders and three lefties. They have a switch-hitter and a lefty in Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley off the bench in the infield.
Of the 14 position players, the Dodgers have six right-handed batters, six left-handed batters and two switch-hitters.
"Our mix of guys is pretty balanced as it is so I don't think we would skew it that far because you always have matchups later in the game," general manager Farhan Zaidi said on Tuesday. "Our objective is to have good balance both ways."
Dodgers NLDS roster
Starting pitchers (4): Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, Alex Wood
Relief pitchers (7): Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher, J.P. Howell, Luis Avilan, Joel Peralta, Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia
Catchers (2): A.J. Ellis, Yasmani Grandal
Infielders (6): Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley
Outfielders (6): Carl Crawford, Kike Hernandez, Andre Ethier, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Justin Ruggiano