With their latest 5-1 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday, the Dodgers have now won four straight and are 7-3 in their ten games. However, they still have not made up any ground on the division-leading Giants. In fact, they actually have lost ground over the last week as they trail by 2 ½ games.
The Giants just refuse to lose, having won eight straight and going 9-1 in their last ten games. So, it is starting to look most likely that the Dodgers could settle for the Wild Card game. With a record that good, it is quite an insane concept.
We will be taking a look at potential opponents in that Wild Card game, as the race is wide open.
Currently, the Cincinnati Reds hold that second Wild Card spot, but only half a game behind are the Padres and the surging Cardinals. Also in the running are the Phillies, who are 2 ½ games back, and the Mets, who are 3 ½ games back.
In a best out of three series, none of these teams would have a shot against the Dodgers. However, since it’s a single playoff elimination game it is quite concerning, especially considering the inconsistent nature of the Los Angeles offense.
The Dodgers either won or lead the season series against all of these teams, except the Reds, who they still face in Cincinnati at the end of this week,
As of now, the Reds and Padres are on a downward trend. The Padres have lost four straight, while the Reds have lost two straight and are 4-6 in their last ten games. The surging Cardinals are only a half-game back of the Wild Card standings, winning three straight and just split a home series with the Dodgers.
This weekend against Cincinnati may very well be a nice sample size of what’s to come. The Reds have announced their starters already starting with Luis Castillo 7-15, with a 4.24 ERA, Sonny Gray 7-7, 3.80 ERA, and Wade Miley 12-5 with a 2.89 ERA.
If the Dodgers go in there and win the series, they may have very well put the Reds in a tough spot. However, this very weekend as well, the Cardinals and Padres play each other in a three-game series in San Diego.
All of these teams will have to play their best doing the final stretch for just even a chance, which will mean maybe throwing out starting pitchers on short rest.
Personally, I like the Cardinals to get that spot, as they are getting hot at the right time, while the Padres still have to play the Giants a number of times, and the Reds have had plenty of chances to pull away.
Overall, I think the Dodgers beat whoever they see in the Wild Card game (if it comes to that) due to their pitching. However, in a single playoff elimination game anything is possible.
In the race for the division crown, the Dodgers look to make it five straight on Tuesday when they give the start to Tony Gonsolin, who is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA, while the Diamondbacks will start Luke Weaver 2-4 with a 4.24 ERA.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.