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Podcast episode 2029: Dodgers-Brewers wild card series preview

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A look at the 3-game wild card series

Milwaukee Brewers v Cincinnati Reds Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

We have another podcast for you this week, this one a preview of the Dodgers’ wild card series against the Brewers, which begins Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers are the clear favorites in this series, owners of the best record in baseball, while the Brewers never spent a single day over .500 all season. But since this is a best-of-3 series, that gives them a puncher’s chance.

During the podcast, I mentioned that the Brewers and Astros this year were the first sub-.500 teams to make the postseason, but I forgot about the 1981 Royals, who finished 50-53 but made the playoffs thanks to their 30-23 mark in the second half.

We talk about the Brewers’ strengths (pitching, especially Brandon Woodruff and Devin Williams) and weaknesses (hitting left-handers, though that improved in September), plus the unfortunate timing of losing presumed Game 1 starter Corbin Burnes to an oblique injury. And how two former MVPs almost mirrored each other, with the struggles of Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich offensively.

We talked about the various pitching probabilities for Milwaukee, including mentioning reliever Brent Suter as a possibility. Suter was later announced Tuesday evening as the Brewers’ Game 1 starter.

Send all of your questions, Dodgers-related or otherwise, to tblapodcast@gmail.com, or tweet us at @ericstephen or @jacobburch. Special thanks this week to producer Brian Salvatore, who turned around two episodes in astoundingly quick fashion, very much in playoff mode already.

Dodgers rewind

To give you an idea of how much Milwaukee’s offense struggled, of the 11 players with at least 100 plate appearances in 2020, only three had an OPS+ above 96. The best belonged to Jeff Gyorko, who hit .248/.333/.505 with nine home runs, for a 121 OPS+ while playing mostly first base.

Gyorko was briefly a Dodger in 2019, acquired at the trade deadline from the Cardinals for Tony Cingrani and minor leaguer Jeffry Abreu. Gyorko was 5 for 36 down the stretch for the Dodgers, though one of those hits was a game-winning RBI single against the Mets.

Gyorko was also the subject of a gaffe on my part during an interview last season, but was a good sport about it.

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