Dodgers manager Dave Roberts knows that changes will be necessary for his postseason-bound roster to avoid another historic collapse like last year.
LA’s skipper is now focused on a new approach to his team’s first round bye in 2023, much like the other prospective NL favorite this season.
Roberts’ club dominated through a 111-win regular season for the franchise record in 2022, but it all fell apart in October.
For no apparent reason the Dodgers took their divisional rival too lightly in the NLDS and got burnt for their seemingly lackadaisical attitude.
San Diego took three unanswered games over a four-game gentleman’s sweep to end LA’s historic season.
Atlanta suffered a similar fate to their own division rival in Philadelphia last season after their own 100-win season. The Braves saw their 2022 bid to repeat go up in smoke through their own collapse against the Phillies.
Both LA and Atlanta know differences needed to be made for this year and their regular seasons proved a return to form as the NL’s two best teams.
So, the teams will be inviting fans into the stadium for the five-day layoff between the end of the regular season and the NLDS, hoping to get more intensity out of those sim games.
“I think it intensifies it a little bit more,” Roberts said. “No player likes to be embarrassed. And so, you’re facing your teammate, but just to go up there and strike out, that’s something. It’s not everything. But I do think that the fan experience, our guys playing in front of some warm bodies for a workout, I don’t see the downside.”
Dodgers and Braves fans know better than to crown themselves early this time around and could face off for a World Series berth on the line in just a few weeks.
Set for an NLCS rematch should both teams handle business through the NLDS, their seven-game set may be the true World Series for fans on either side.
LA took round one and Atlanta took round two in back to back seasons which makes 2023 a chance to settle the score on who the true class of the National League is.
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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