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Dodgers vs. Brewers NLCS was improbable, but now it’s here

It wasn’t clear that both of these teams would even make the postseason just a month ago, but now they’re in the NLCS.

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

The Brewers facing off against the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series is something of an improbable turn of events. That’s where I got the idea for the headline for this editorial. Neat, huh?

Back on September 5, the Rockies, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks looked like they were all potentially fighting over one postseason spot. The Rockies were in first in the NL West, so the edge, small as it was, belonged to them. The Dodgers weren’t exactly where they expected to be thanks to Corey Seager’s injury, a closer-to-mortal season from Cody Bellinger, and so on. The Brewers, at the time, were three games back of the NL Central-leading Cubs, and 2.5 games up on the Dodgers in the wild card race.

The final month of the season ended up being a rarity, in which we actually got to the postiion where tiebreakers needed to be played. The Dodgers were tied with the Rockies, and won their Game 163, granting them the NL West title for the sixth season in a row. The Brewers were tied with the Cubs after Game 162, and in Game 163, finally took the NL Central for themselves. Both teams did what they had to do in September -- the Dodgers handled the Rockies with a sweep that inevitably led to the tie and avoidance of the NL Wild Card Game, and the Brewers finished out the season with an eight-game win streak.

To go from being potential Wild Card opponents — or the possibility that only one of the two teams would make it to the postseason at all — to the two National League clubs vying for supremacy in the National League Championship Series is a surprise. It’s not that either side lacked the talent: it’s just that it seemed as if the odds were against this matchup happening at this late stage of the postseason. It’s here now, though, after the Brewers embarrassed the Rockies in their NLDS while the Dodgers handled the upstart Braves in theirs.

Game 1 takes place on Friday night at 8:09 p.m. ET, in Milwaukee -- the Brewers won not just the NL Central in their Game 163 against the Cubs, but also homefield advantage throughout the NL portion of the postseason.