Here we are through 159 games, only three games remain in this 162-game season. The final opponent before the postseason will be the Milwaukee Brewers, unless there happens to be a game 163 between the Giants and Dodgers.
The Dodgers still remain two games behind the Giants with only three to play. The Giants can clinch as early as today if they win and the Dodgers fall to the Brewers. The Dodgers, if they wish to clinch the NL West, will need help from none other than the San Diego Padres.
After their most recent three-game sweep of the Padres, the Dodgers have won four straight and are 8-2 in their 10 last games, so as of now, they are riding a nice little hot streak into the postseason.
The Dodgers have announced their first two starts for this weekend, Clayton Kershaw will start on Friday, and Julio Urias will start on Saturday, looking for his 20th win of the season; he currently leads the league with 19 wins.
Right-hander Corbin Burnes, who has the league’s lowest ERA at 2.29, is among the leaders in the race for an Cy Young that has gotten tight towards the end of the season. The Dodgers could help their own teammates Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer in the race by bringing some hot bats against Burnes. Although you can make the case for any of those pitchers, they are all well-deserving to have their name in the running.
Neither team has officially announced a starter for Sunday, I’m guessing that the Dodgers are waiting to see what occurs in the pennant race, as they may want to save several arms for a potential Wild Card game.
I know many of you will be scoreboard watching; and unfortunately, the Dodgers will have to rely on the Padres, who had one of the worst mid-season collapses in baseball history. The Padres have not even announced starter for Friday or Sunday, but they announced that right-hander Joe Musgrove will start Saturday. The Giants announced they will start all right-handers n Anthony DeSclafani, Kevin Gausman and Logan Webb this weekend.
Whether the Dodgers win the division or remain in the Wildcard, they still have some of the best odds to win the World Series. The Cardinals have already announced that veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright is likely to start the Wild Card game. The veteran has had a great season; he is currently second in Major League wins with 17, and we all know the crazy run the Cardinals have had.
So it will be a weekend that will have the Dodgers and Giants rivalry at its peak. Let’s hope the Padres can somehow regain some of that April magic. No matter what happens, the Dodgers are still a great team and a force to be reckoned with in October.
The Dodgers will face left-hander Eric Lauer in Friday’s opener, who is 7-5 with a 2.93 ERA, while Kershaw is 10-8 and a 3.38 ERA.
The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Pacific.