D-backs-Dodgers NLDS Game 1 lineups, FAQ (LIVE, TBS)

October 7th, 2023

LOS ANGELES -- With five days off between the end of the regular season and the start of their postseason run, the Dodgers have been gearing up for the National League Division Series with more intensity.

A big reason for the change was because of what the Dodgers learned in 2022 following their early NLDS exit against the Padres. It’s a series loss that has motivated the Dodgers over the past calendar year.

Ironically enough, the Dodgers will get a chance to avenge that disappointing loss against another NL West division rival. It won’t be an easy task, however, as the D-backs come into the NLDS with plenty of momentum on their side after sweeping the Brewers in Milwaukee in the Wild Card Series.

“We’re obviously really familiar with them. They have a really good team,” said Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “They know us well, we know them well, and we’re looking forward to it.” 

It’ll be Arizona’s first trip to the NLDS since 2017, when they were swept by the Dodgers in three games. In 2023, the Dodgers took eight of the 13 meetings against the D-backs, though Arizona did come away with a series win early in the season. Given the familiarity between the two sides, there won’t be any surprises. It’ll ultimately come down to which team executes best. 

“We know the Dodgers very well,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “And it’s going to be a great challenge. We know the ins and outs of their changes, their coaching staff, the stadium. We know it all. So we’re going to walk into a pretty big environment once again, and we’ll see how these young players step up. And I believe they’re going to get the job done.”

When is the game and how can I watch it?

Game 1 will be on Saturday at 9:20 p.m. ET/6:20 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium on TBS.

All series are available in the U.S. on MLB.TV with authentication to a participating Pay TV provider. Games are available live internationally (except in Canada). Full game archives are available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.

Who are the starting pitchers?

D-backs: RHP (12-8, 3.29 ERA)
By sweeping the Brewers in two games, the D-backs will have Kelly available to start Game 1 against the Dodgers. While Zac Gallen gets a lot of attention, and rightfully so, Kelly is the consistent workhorse of the Arizona staff. Kelly has started four times against the Dodgers this season and is 0-2 with a 3.98 ERA against them. He has not fared as well at Dodger Stadium, going 0-1 with a 7.27 ERA in two starts there this year. The Dodgers are one team that Kelly has yet to figure out, as he's gone 0-11 with a 5.49 ERA in 16 career starts.

Dodgers: LHP (13-5, 2.46 ERA)
Even after missing more than a month with a left shoulder injury and still not being at 100 percent, Kershaw has been the Dodgers’ best and most consistent pitcher this season. The likely first-ballot Hall of Famer led the rotation in wins, ERA and starts at age 35. In the postseason, the Dodgers will need more of the same from Kershaw, who hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down despite a decrease in velocity.

What are the starting lineups?

D-backs: Lovullo has varied his lineup against left-handers for much of the year, moving outfielder Corbin Carroll down -- and he slotted Carroll in at the two-hole with Marte leading off for Game 1. Catcher Gabriel Moreno is in the lineup after he was forced to leave Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Brewers after being hit in the head by a backswing.

Dodgers: With Kelly starting Game 1 for the D-backs, the Dodgers went with Mookie Betts at second base and Jason Heyward in right field. David Peralta has handled most of the responsibility in left field against righties, and he got the start over Chris Taylor.

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?

D-backs: Lovullo has been aggressive in going to the bullpen when anyone outside of Gallen and Kelly are pitching. The 'pen was a weak spot early in the season, but it has been outstanding down the stretch. The D-backs close with Paul Sewald, with Kevin Ginkel setting him up. Right-hander Ryan Thompson and rookie lefty Andrew Saalfrank have earned Lovullo’s trust to pitch in high-leverage situations.

Dodgers: The Dodgers won’t hesitate in going to their bullpen all postseason, even with their ace on the mound. Don’t be surprised to see Emmet Sheehan come in behind Kershaw to provide a few innings in relief. In the late innings, the Dodgers will lean on Ryan Brasier, Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips, which has been one of the best trios in the Majors this season.

Any injuries of note?

D-backs: The D-backs are without outfielder Jake McCarthy, who strained his right oblique during batting practice before Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series. Moreno appears to be on track to start Saturday. Manager Torey Lovullo said that Moreno never had to enter the concussion protocol, and Moreno said on Friday that he is feeling much better.

Dodgers: Yency Almonte and Daniel Hudson continue to ramp up for a potential return in the NL Championship Series. On the position player side, Rojas sat out the regular-season finale after getting hit by a pitch on his left hand. The MRI came back clean and X-rays were negative, so Rojas should be ready to go for the start of the postseason.

Who’s hot, who’s not?

D-backs: The D-backs' bullpen as a whole is hot, having thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings in the series against Milwaukee. Carroll had a big series against the Brewers with a home run off Corbin Burnes in Game 1, and Marte, too, has swung the bat well.

Dodgers: Betts and Freeman have been the driving forces for the Dodgers this season, but Martinez posted a strong final month. The Dodgers’ designated hitter hit eight homers in September and October, recording a 1.050 OPS in the process. Outman also had a solid month with six homers. 

After a strong start to the season, Peralta has struggled in the second half, posting a .231 batting average since the All-Star break. The power has also completely gone away, as Peralta hasn’t homered since July 8.

Anything else fans should know?

D-backs: The series win against the Brewers was the D-backs' first postseason series victory since 2007.

Dodgers: The Dodgers have not lost a postseason opener since the 2015 NLDS against the Mets.