Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles both had tremendous regular seasons that surpassed expectations placed on them to earn a bye through the Wild Card Series. The Dodgers awaited an opponent in the National League Division Series, and the Orioles in the American League Division Series.
The Dodgers won the NL West by going 100-62, putting them 16 games ahead of the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks. The Orioles were in a tighter race, but ended up finishing 101-61 and two games in front of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Their regular season dominance didn’t translate to the postseason though as both ended up taking early exits. The Dodgers were swept by the Diamondbacks while the Orioles were eliminated by the Texas Rangers in three games as well.
With both the Dodgers and Orioles losing their series 3-0, it marked the first time in MLB postseason history that multiple 100-win teams were swept in a single year, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
Questions of how the new postseason format affects the top-seeded teams with five days off between the end of the regular season and the playoffs while their opponents get to play a three-game series to keep their bats hot.
“For me, I’ve got to do a better job of figuring out a way to get our guys prepared for the postseason,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I’ll own that. I think we’ve got great players. I’ve got to figure out a way to get these guys prepared for whatever format, whatever series.
“Yeah, the regular season, I think we do a great job. But the last couple of postseasons it just hasn’t gone well for us and so I’ve got to figure it out.”
Dodgers postseason failures against lesser teams
In each of their last three postseason appearances, the Dodgers have been eliminated by a team that had 15 fewer wins in the regular season.
Aside from the Dodgers, there have only been three prior instances of a team losing a playoff round to an opponent they had 15 more wins than, according to ESPN Stats and Info.
In 2021, the 107-win Dodgers lost in the NL Championship Series to the 88-win Atlanta Braves. In 2022, the 111-win Dodgers were defeated by the 89-win San Diego Padres. The Dodgers have now been eliminated by divisional opponents the last two postseasons.
“I don’t know the answer, and it’s ironic that these are teams that we’re very familiar with,” Roberts said. “And so why, you get in a series and it gets flipped on its head, I just don’t know that answer.
“The easy answer is, like I said earlier, they just outplayed us. Their starters went deep. They got leads and we were playing from behind the whole series and their offense was better.
“Regardless of who you play, if you’re getting beat on those facets of the game, you’re just not going to win.”
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