This weekend will be September baseball at its finest. With only 15 games left to play, many teams will be fighting for their playoff lives.
As we all know, the Dodgers are in a division race of their own. After a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Giants splitting a four-game series with the Padres the Dodgers are now only one game back with 15 to go.
However, Friday marks the start of a nine-game road trip for the Dodgers, and it won’t be easy as they will face the Cincinnati Reds for three games this weekend at Great American Ball Park. The Reds are in a playoff push themselves. However, they are 3-7 in their last ten games.
Currently, the Reds are one game back of the St, Louis Cardinals for that second wild-card spot, while the Padres are also half a game back.
At the same time the Dodgers play the Reds this weekend, the Cardinals and Padres will be playing each other in San Diego in a series that will go a long way in determining the second spot.
As well, the Giants and Braves will play each other, each of who are in a division race of their own. So fans of those particular teams will be scoreboard watching heavily.
The Reds and Dodgers previously met back in late April when the Reds actually took two out of three games from the Dodgers. If you remember, it was during the stretch in which the Dodgers were quite awful, when they went around 5-15 in a 20 game span.
So after the weekend, the Dodgers could possibly end up in first place. The Blue Crew will have great pitching throughout the weekend.
Starting the first two games are Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer, who are both likely to be among the top Cy Young candidates, and ending with Clayton Kershaw, who will make his second start since being activated from the injured list.
The Reds will send out Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Wade Miley, so it will be a great time for starting pitching in Cincinnati.
On a side note, it is quite insane that the Dodgers or Giants, who probably will end up with the second-best record in all of baseball, will have to play in a one-game playoff elimination game.
Perhaps this is something MLB looks into throughout the offseason. After the Dodgers finish up the Reds, they will play the Rockies and Diamondbacks before returning home to play the Padres and Brewers to close out the season
Buehler looks to continue his great 2021 campaign Friday against the Reds. He is 14-3 with a 2.32 ERA on the year. Buehler faces Castillo, who has been a All-Star in the past. He is 7-15 with a 4.24 ERA this year.
The first pitch for the opener is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. Pacific.