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Los Angeles Dodgers Clinch NL West; Time To Preview 2013 NLDS

DodgersCelebrate

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

With a wild 7-6 win over their divisional foes the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally locked up the NL West Division crown. After a rough run over the past two weeks, the Dodgers have done what seemed to be inevitable and will be in the 2013 MLB postseason. As such, it is only fitting to preview their prospective NLDS matchup.

If the regular season were to end today, the Dodgers would be the number three seed in the NL half of the playoffs as they sit two and a half games behind the Atlanta Braves and 1.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers would play the Cardinals as it stands, but with the Pittsburgh Pirates trailing their NL Central counterparts by a mere game and a half, it would be unjust of me to not address both teams as possible matchups.

Both the Pirates and Cardinals have bested the Dodgers in the overall season series with 4-2 and 4-3 records, respectively. Over the past three seasons, the Pirates have been a bit more troublesome with 16 wins in 21 games while the Cardinals are just three games over .500 against the Dodgers in 25 games.

The Dodgers will not look forward to facing the Cardinals’ fantastic pitching staff including young gun Shelby Miller and perpetual studs Lance Lynn and Adam Wainwright. Nevertheless, the Pirates also have a tough pitching staff from start to finish and Andrew McCutchen is an MVP candidate that no one looks forward to throwing against.

With the first playoff berth since 2009, the Dodgers are just happy to be playing anyone, but would do better to see the Pirates in the opening round despite what I have said above. Although the numbers seem to favor Pittsburgh, the Pirates have not had a postseason appearance since 1992 while St. Louis has been a perpetual fixture in the playoffs. Age and experience can help in that kind of series so the Dodgers should hope to see the Pirates.

If you’re looking for Dodgers tickets for the NLDS, you can find them for as low as $48 right now. Game 1 will be two weeks from today.

Isaac Comelli is a Los Angeles Dodgers writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @IsaacComelli, “Like” him on Facebook or follow him on Google.

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