Series Preview: Dodgers’ Playoff Hopes Ride on Final 3 Games in San Francisco

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The final series of the 2018 regular season is upon us, and the Dodgers find themselves looking up at the Colorado Rockies, one game out of the lead for the West division.

The Dodgers have no one to blame but themselves, of course. They handled business earlier in the month with Arizona and Colorado, but then folded against the likes of Cincinnati and the Mets. You gotta win the games that you should win, especially in such a tight pennant race.

And so they head into San Francisco looking to take as many games as they can from the Giants, and hope against hope that the Washington Nationals take it to the Rockies, and that the Cubs do some damage against the St. Louis Cardinals so the Dodgers could be the second wild card should Los Angeles not win the division.

The Giants would love nothing more than to sweep the Dodgers right out of the postseason. So much so that Madison Bumgarner lobbied and won the right to be moved back into the rotation so that he could face the Dodgers. He will start Friday night against Hyun-Jin Ryu. The last time that Bumgarner faced Los Angeles was on Aug 13, when he went six innings giving up seven hits and two earned runs. In his four September starts, he’s allowed 15 runs in 23 innings, going 1-3. Ryu for his part is coming off two scoreless games, where he went 13 innings total scattering eight hits and gathering 13 strikeouts.

Saturday’s game will see Clayton Kershaw going up against righty Derek Rodríguez. Kershaw has not been near his former self, but he has been good enough to keep the Dodgers in the game. Rodríguez is 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA on the year, but 1-3 in his last seven games, allowing 13 earned runs with 27 strikeouts.

Sunday’s final regular season game will be Walker Buehler against Andrew Suarez. Buehler has been very good this whole season, and doesn’t seem to be bothered by the big stage, should Sunday present itself with the division championship hanging in the balance. Andrew Suarez is a lefty who is 7-12 on the season with a 4.22 ERA.

The Dodgers can sweep the Giants, and deal with what happens in Denver. If they want this, all they have to do is deliver this weekend and they will be in the playoffs in some manner. Will they? That remains to be seen.

 

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10 thoughts on “Series Preview: Dodgers’ Playoff Hopes Ride on Final 3 Games in San Francisco

  1. Where is everybody?

    538.com still has the Dodgers favored to be the NL representative in the World Series. Anyone have an opinion about that?

    They also have the Rockies rated 11th in MLB. The Dodgers are rated 4th. Astros, Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers. Fangraphs more or less feels the same, giving us a 99.1% chance of making the playoffs and a 15% chance to win the World Series, Cubs only an 8% chance. They don’t much believe in the Rockies at 4.3%.

    So, apparently we can go ahead and put our money down to make it to the World Series. The wife and I are having a garage sale, should clear maybe $400. Should I try to convince her to bet it on the Dodgers? Algorithms say we have the best chance.

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    1. I definitely wouldn’t waste my money on a Dodger World Series bet this year, but I might be interested in your garage sale. Probably a better use of my $.

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      1. Come on by Jeff. I’m in Sedona. Just drive into town and ask any cop for directions to Hatchet Jack’s house. They may suggest an escort. And back up.

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  2. I’d have to steal it from the evidence locker Jeff.

    I don’t understand sending someone home from third when the infield is in. It doesn’t work, that’s why the infield is in. You’re at third, freeze and make sure the ball gets through. Another missed opportunity for the Dodgers.

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    1. Totally agree with your point about sending the runner from third. I’m writing this after the game. We managed to leave a boatload of runners on base without scoring them today and still managed to pile up 10 runs. We all know this means we’ll probably be shut out tomorrow. At least the Nats are trying their damndest to help us here by starting two excellent pitchers. Whatever the outcome, it won’t be a Phillies situation.

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    1. It’s a contact play. I’ve seen the team do it all year. It can work if you get a good secondary lead, you have Billy Hamilton speed and the ball is not hit directly at an infielder. When I played and coached it wasn’t a thing. If the infield is in, you wait until the ball goes through. It must be a new strategy. Somebody came up with an algorithm that says it works better than 50% of the time. I don’t buy it.

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      1. A pretty bold move, my friend, questioning a Dodger algorithm. We may have to put you in the penalty box for awhile. Oh, wait a minute, that’s a different sport.

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