It is now really getting into crunch time as we enter the final weeks of the season. The Dodgers have dropped two consecutive one-run games to the St. Louis Cardinals before their return trip home.
The two teams split a four-game series in St. Louis, and they both are in playoff races of their own. The Dodgers now stand 2 ½ games back of the Giants in the NL West and they will have to play with a sense of urgency soon.
As we all know, the Giants and Dodgers will not meet anymore, so the Dodgers will hope the Giants can lose as many games as possible along the way.
After going 3-4, on the road trip, the Dodgers now return home for a six-game homestand beginning with three against the San Diego Padres, followed by three against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Dodgers will have to win both these series to keep pace going into the final weeks.
While there’s no question the Dodgers will be in the postseason, the question is whether they will be in the Wild Card game or the No. 1 National League seed.
What is really concerning is I can totally envision the offense being flat in a Wild Card game, which is significant in a game where the loser goes home. The pitching will be solid, we can count on that, but the offense may really need to step up.
Currently, the two NL wildcard spots are held by the Dodgers and the Padres.
The Dodgers are ahead of the Padres by 13 games, while the Padres are ahead of the Reds by one game for the second wild card. The Cardinals are three games back, and the Phillies are three and a half games back.
Pitching matchups have been set for this weekend. The Dodgers will send out their best three, and hopefully will not have another bullpen game this weekend. However, Clayton Kershaw should hopefully be on his way back soon, while Tony Gonsolin also gets into the groove of things as well.
In other pitching news, it was also confirmed that Trevor Bauer will not return in 2021, which was pretty much a given.
Hopefully, the Los Angeles offense will ignite this weekend. The games between these two teams have been great this season so far. Currently, the Padres lead the season series 7-6. However, in the most recent series, the Dodgers swept the Padres in San Diego.
The first pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled at 7:10 p.m. Pacific.