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Looking back at past Brewers-Dodgers matchups

If we look at the past 10 years of Brewers-Dodgers matchups, what does that tell us?

League Championship Series - Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Five

Tomorrow evening, the Brewers and Dodgers will begin their three-game series to start the 2020 postseason for these two teams. While the teams are much different than they have been in the previous seasons, looking at past series can give us an indication of how they have matched up. While they did not play in 2020, they have played every year before this, and the results have been close. Let’s take a look back at the last 10 seasons that these two teams played each other.

2019: 3-4

2-1 @ Dodger Stadium
1-3 @ Miller Park

After the 2018 NLCS, two early season series between these two teams got a lot of attention from all of baseball. The first series took place April 12-14 at Dodger Stadium, with the Brewers taking 2 of the 3 games. Unfortunately, the home series a few days later (April 18-21) didn’t go as well, with the Brewers losing 3 of 4. A few of those games were close late, but the Brewers could not get the win.

2018: 6-8

2-2 Regular Season, 1-2 Postseason @ Dodger Stadium
1-2 Regular Season, 2-2 Postseason @ Miller Park

The 2018 meetings between these two teams would become some of the most memorable between the teams for many years. They first met in Milwaukee after the All-Star Break, and the Dodgers took 2 of 3 in the July 20-22 meeting. A week later, the teams met again in Los Angeles, with slightly better results for the Brewers. The series was split there 2-2, with the Brewers taking the first two games and the Dodgers the last two.

Of course, the series that will be remembered for years is the 2018 NLCS in that year’s postseason. With home field advantage, the Brewers started strong and managed to beat Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, taking a 6-5 win and a 1-0 early series lead. Game 2 started well for the Brewers took, as they took a 3-0 lead in the game. However, the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, and the Brewers ended up losing 4-3 to send the series tied 1-1 to Los Angeles.

The Brewers bounced back quickly and retook the series lead, as Jhoulys Chacin led the team to a 4-0 shutout in Game 3. In Game 4, it became a pitchers’ duel and both teams would not relent, sending the game into extra innings. It was in the 13th inning that the Dodgers struck, earning the 2-1 win and tying the series at 2-2. Game 5 will be most famously remembered for the pitching change after 1 batter, as Wade Miley “started” the game before being replaced by Brandon Woodruff. The move didn’t end up working as well as the Brewers had hoped, and while it took a few innings, eventually the Dodgers broke through the Brewers pitching staff and took a 5-2 win, sending the series to Milwaukee with the Brewers down 3-2.

With the home crowd behind the Brewers, they started strong and didn’t look back in Game 6. Despite the Dodgers scoring right away in the first, the Brewers answered with four runs in the bottom half and never looked back as they dominated in a 7-2 win to force a Game 7 to decide the series. The Brewers took the early lead in Game 7 with a run in the first, but the Dodgers answered with two runs in the second, and the game remained at 2-1 until the 6th. It was there that the Dodgers took full control, as a three-run home run put them far ahead and gave them the Game 7 victory.

2017: 3-3

2-1 @ Dodger Stadium
1-2 @ Miller Park

2017 was another close year between the two teams. The Brewers went 1-2 at home in a series between June 2-4. This included a 12-inning 2-1 loss in the first meeting between the teams, then a 10-8 loss the next day before a 3-0 shutout to finish the series. They met again in late August in Los Angeles, with the Brewers taking this series 2-1. All three games were close, as the Dodgers started the series with a 3-1 win before the Brewers took the next two games, 3-2 and 3-0.

2016: 2-5

1-3 @ Dodger Stadium
1-2 @ Miller Park

The 2016 season was more one sided between these two teams. They first met June 16-19, with the Dodgers taking 3 of 4 in Los Angeles, including two of those in walkoff fashion. They met again a week and a half later in Milwaukee, and the Dodgers took another 2 of 3 in that series.

2015: 3-4

1-2 @ Dodger Stadium
2-2 @ Miller Park

Though this year’s series don’t look much different from the previous ones, the 2015 series was a major moment for the franchise. Prior to their first series at Miller Park starting on May 4, the Brewers made a coaching change, as manager Ron Roenicke was fired following a 7-18 start to the season. This series against the Dodgers would be Craig Counsell’s first as manager of the Brewers, and it started with a 4-3 win over the Dodgers. The Brewers would go on to split that series 2-2 to begin Counsell’s managerial career. The two teams met again July 10-12, with the Dodgers taking 2 of 3 in that series in Los Angeles.

Previous 5 Years

Here’s a quick look at the five years that preceded the 2015 season:

  • 2014: 5-1 (3-0 on Road, 2-1 at Home)
  • 2013: 2-4 (1-2 on Road, 1-2 at Home)
  • 2012: 6-1 (4-0 on Road, 2-1 at Home)
  • 2011: 4-2 (1-1 on Road, 3-1 at Home)
  • 2010: 2-4 (2-1 on Road, 0-3 at Home)

The results were mixed and generally favored one side. The Brewers won the season series 3 of the 5 years, with the Dodgers taking the other 2 years.

Looking back at the last 10 years these teams have played overall, these two teams have tended to be very even, with the two teams tied at 36-36. Regardless of the year, they have played well against each other, and it hopefully will continue into this postseason. Here’s one interesting note from these records. The Brewers have actually played better in Los Angeles than they have at home. The Brewers have a 20-15 record in these 10 seasons at Dodger Stadium, compared to a 16-21 record at Miller Park.

Does that mean it will carry over into this year’s postseason series? Not necessarily. These two clubs are much different than any of the teams in the past. The Dodgers definitely hold a big advantage in this series. However, don’t count the Brewers out by any means. They have a chance to take a postseason series here, and history shows that this could go either way.

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference