Here we are entering the final regular-season series of the year against the Angels. The Dodgers have clinched “home field advantage” throughout the National League playoffs. This season, home field doesn’t directly come to play, but the fact that the Dodgers have a better road record should bode well for the team looking ahead, regardless.
With a 5-1 win yesterday against the Oakland Athletics, the Dodgers became the first team to 40 wins. They may also be the only team with 40 wins this season, as the only other who could possibly win 40 games is the Rays who are three wins away.
Fans of the Dodgers might want to keep their eyes on other games this final weekend of the regular season. About five to six teams are all within two games of that last NL postseason berth. Whoever clinches that spot will play the Dodgers next week in the opening three-game postseason series. Right now, the Giants sit in that eighth spot, which would be quite the series for both fan bases. The two teams haven’t met in the postseason since relocating from New York, and it would certainly be sweet for the Dodgers to put down a Giants team in route to a World Series.
However, in addition to the Giants, teams that could end up in that eighth spot are the Phillies, Brewers, Cardinals, Marlins and Reds. The Mets and Rockies are still alive but are unlikely to clinch.
The Dodgers have only lost one series all season, that was to the Rockies. The Padres, Astros, and Athletics are the only teams above .500 that the Dodgers have faced all season. Many people expressed that they thought the Dodgers hadn’t faced strong competition. However, the number of teams the Dodgers have faced above .500 can change over this last weekend. The Astros are only one game above .500, and the Giants are right at the .500 mark.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will use these final three games to make the final decisions for his playoff roster.
Walker Buehler returned from injury last night and looked great. Buehler is vital to any deep run the Dodgers make in the postseason. Buehler only pitched four innings but had six strikeouts while only allowing one hit. The bullpen also looked good only allowing one run over five innings.
Clayton Kershaw will start the first game of the three-game series against the Angels. The Angels are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Their chances are slim, but they will certainly put it all on the line. The one team they can catch is the Houston Astros.
Kershaw has had a great year after an early-season injury scare. He has posted a 2.15 ERA and a 6-2 record. He will look to tuneup before he pitches in the postseason next week.
Kersh will be opposed by lefty Andrew Heaney in the opener.
No starters have been announced for the last two games of the series against the Angels, as there will most likely be a number of pitchers making appearances.
So here we go one final tuneup before the real thing starts.
First pitch of Friday’s series opener is set for 6:40 p.m. Pacific time.