October Confidential: Dodgers

Rival players offer inside look at facing the NL West champions

October Confidential: Dodgers

How do you beat the Dodgers? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the NL West champions.

Clayton Kershaw
"Obviously, his stuff is the first thing that stands out. Any time you have a mid-90s fastball, a good slider and a big breaking curveball, it's going to be tough to beat. His command is usually on point. He likes to pitch inside and there's no secret about that. I think the best way to go about getting him is to be aggressive; try to get a fastball as early as you can. The last thing you want to see is that curveball late in the count."
-- NL West infielder

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 9 NYM 3, LAD 1
Gm 2 Oct. 10 LAD 5, NYM 2
Gm 3 Oct. 12 NYM 13, LAD 7
Gm 4 Oct. 13 LAD 3, NYM 1
Gm 5 Oct. 15 NYM 3, LAD 2

"He's an elite pitcher with a good fastball that he's not scared to come inside with. And you can't sit on his curveball -- very low success rate hitting his curveball. He's also pitched well with his slider. Your best shot is to be ready to hit a pitch early in the count."
-- NL West infielder No. 2

Zack Greinke
"He's probably one of the more prepared pitchers you'll face in the sense of studying. He loves looking at sabermetrics and looking at all the angles. He's probably the most consistent guy we face as far as location. He makes life easier on his defense, because if the Dodgers are playing a batter to hit to the opposite field, you can count on his pitch being in a spot to induce contact the other way. His consistency is unbelievable. He will throw a lot of first-pitch heaters, so I guess be ready to hit early, but he keeps that ball right down at the knees and that's tough to hit."
-- NL West infielder

"He sets himself apart because he's a guy who has four or five really quality pitches. You can't go up there and rule out any one pitch. We try to do that with a lot of guys, but with him, you just can't do that. You need to get him up in the zone if you're going to have any success against him."
-- NL West infielder No. 2

October Confidential: Mets

Brett Anderson
"He's had a good year. He's kind of reestablished himself. His main thing is keeping the ball down. You can hurt him when he throws his heater or changeup high in the zone. But when he's throwing strikes and keeping the ball down, he's a great No. 3 or No. 4 option in the Dodgers' rotation."
-- NL West infielder

Kenley Jansen
"He's a hard-throwing reliever with a great cutter. Everyone knows what he's going to come after you with. I think the key is trying to get him to come down in the strike zone with that cutter. He throws two cutters, really. One that cuts a lot and then like a baby cutter. You want to be aggressive with him, but you have to get him down in the zone"
-- NL West infielder

Adrian Gonzalez
"He hits to all fields really well. Every once in a while, he'll just decide to pull the ball. If you happen to throw a quality pitch at that point, you can get him out. But otherwise, he will gladly hit the ball to left-center field, and that makes him really tough to have any type of consistent plan against. You always have to be mixing things up."
-- NL West reliever

Joc Pederson
"Big swing. He's a guy that if his timing is on, he can hit the ball as far as anybody in the game. And he tries to crush it with every swing. So from a pitching standpoint, it's all about trying to disrupt his timing. When you get a guy with a big swing, you can often get him to swing and miss instead of simply inducing weak contact."
-- NL West reliever

Justin Turner
"He's a guy who is more patient than earlier in his career. He had that good second half last year, and it carried over to this year, so you're starting to think his high-level performance is pretty real. When I saw him for the first time, when he got his pitch, he didn't miss it. Maybe having good hitters ahead of and behind him helps, but he's taking advantage of it."
-- NL West starting pitcher

Howie Kendrick
"In my opinion, he's the best hitter in that lineup. I know there are guys that have better numbers, but he's a guy who is so consistent in taking the ball up the middle and to the opposite field. It doesn't matter what pitch you throw or where you throw it; he can get the barrel to it and hit it anywhere in the ballpark, which makes him really dangerous."
-- NL West reliever

Andre Ethier
"I feel like he's changed the last few years. He struggled last year and wasn't playing a whole lot. But when he was playing a lot, he had really good plate coverage. It was a constant battle for me with him."
-- NL West starting pitcher

Jimmy Rollins
"I think he's struggled in the past with the off-speed pitches. He's been an aggressive hitter and has really quick hands. But he can get fooled on a pitch."
-- NL West starting pitcher