Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks NLDS Preview & Pick


Oct 6, 2023

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks are set to collide in a best-of-five series in the NLDS. During the regular season, the Dodgers won the season series 8-5. Arizona is coming off an impressive two-game sweep over the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card round. Can Arizona continue its momentum against a perenially strong Dodger team? 

SportsGrid looks into the matchup and who it favors. 

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Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Starting Pitching Edge

Since we don’t have the complete picture yet, we will look at the trends from these teams down the stretch and in the wild-card round for the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers announced veteran Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for Game 1, while the D-Backs are expected to counter with Merrill Kelly. Kershaw was dominant at home this season, but there have been notorious question marks about his postseason resume, deserved or not. The Dodgers should round out their top three with Bobby Miller and potentially veteran Lance Lynn. It’s hard to have a lot of confidence in either of those two starters right now, which makes you question whether the Dodgers can have a deep postseason run. With the D-Backs, you’ll likely see Zac Gallen and Brandon Pfaadt round out their top three in the NLDS. Kershaw may be the best of the bunch, but we like how the D-Backs round out their top three more than the Dodgers in this series. 

Edge: Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Relief Pitching Edge

It’s no secret that the Dodgers will have many advantages in this series, but their edge in the bullpen might be one of their biggest. The Dodgers finished the regular season with the third-best bullpen ERA, while the Diamondbacks were in the bottom third of the league. The D-Backs acquired Paul Sewald at the trade deadline in hopes of bolstering their bullpen, but their overall numbers haven’t changed much. The Dodgers bullpen has many swing-and-miss options, while that’s still lacking for Arizona, even after an impressive showing in the wild-card round from a bullpen standpoint. The Dodgers have the edge here, and it could decide the series. 

Edge: Dodgers 

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Starting Lineup Edge

One of the current faces of the National League, Mookie Betts, is set to go toe-to-toe with a future face of the league, Corbin Carroll. At face value, the Diamondbacks lineup doesn’t scare you, but they can score in bunches in the right spots. Led by rookie sensation Carroll, catcher Gabriel Moreno is another name to watch. The Diamondbacks have some nice young pieces at the top of their lineup and the ability to take advantage of a questionable Dodgers pitching rotation in the NLDS. Shifting gears to the Dodgers, it’s hard to match a top four that features two MVP candidates at the top in Betts and Freddie Freeman. Add onto that Will Smith and Max Muncy, and you can understand why the Dodgers won 100 games again in 2023. The D-Backs will be a lineup to watch moving forward in the National League, but the Dodgers have an edge where they currently stand entering the NLDS. 

Edge: Dodgers 

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Bench Edge

The Diamondbacks and Dodgers have relatively clear-cut starting nines on their respective roster heading into the NLDS. However, these teams have some interesting bench options at their disposal. The best of the bunch likely sits with the Dodgers in Jason Heyward, who it won’t be a surprise if he finds his way into a starting lineup, depending on the matchup. Heyward had 334 at-bats in 2023 and tallied an impressive .813 OPS. The Diamondbacks have some powerful bench bats, but no one we feel can be a significant difference-maker like Heyward. The Dodgers right-fielder started a lot for Dave Roberts down the stretch, but even if you don’t classify him as a true bench player, we still like the Dodgers group more than the D-Backs. 

Edge: Dodgers 

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Betting Odds

Series odds: Dodgers -230 | Diamondbacks +184

Game 1 odds: Dodgers -196 | Diamondbacks +164 | O/U: 8 (O-114, U-106)

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Pick

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been a nice story this season and are a team on the rise. With a future face of the sport in Corbin Carroll leading the charge, the D-Backs will be troublesome in the National League moving forward. In saying that, it’s not their time right now. This Dodgers group has advantages all over the diamond, and they’ve been battle-tested before, even if that hasn’t always shown with their accolades. Even though we like the D-Backs rotation at face value, there’s been a lot of trouble for this group against the Dodgers lineup, and it’s well within the realm of possibility that continues into the NLDS. The Dodgers’ experience and star power in their batting lineup will ultimately help them push forward into the NLCS to take on either the Philadelphia Phillies or Atlanta Braves. 

Pick: Dodgers in four (+310) 

Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers Schedule & TV

Saturday, October 7

NLDS Game 1: No. 2 Dodgers vs. No. 6 Diamondbacks, 9:20 p.m. ET (TBS)

Monday, October 9

NLDS Game 2: Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks, 9:07 p.m. ET (TBS)

Wednesday, October 11

NLDS Game 3: Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers, TBD (TBS)

Thursday, October 12

NLDS Game 4*: Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers, TBD (TBS)

Saturday, October 14

NLDS Game 5*: Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks, TBD (TBS)

*if necessary

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Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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