The final series of the season is here, a rare six-game set against the Colorado Rockies.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are closing the 2022 season with the same team they opened it up against. One hundred eight wins and counting for the Dodgers, they are 60 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history, just unreal records during this decade-long run. They’re the first team to achieve the feat since the Mariners did in 2001. Three teams this season haven’t even reached 60 wins.
However, the biggest question for October is who will close games for the Dodgers.
It has been apparent that Craig Kimbrel isn’t that guy anymore. If anything, these six games should be used as tryouts for the playoff roster, including position players. There are only so many spots available.
Several candidates are coming on late such as Miguel Vargas, who had himself a day yesterday.
Looking at the new playoff format, the first seed does get a bye, but not relatively the best matchup, as they’ll play the winner of the series between the fourth and fifth seed. Depending on the winning teams, I think there should be reseeding after that first round, similar to how the NFL implies.
The Dodgers also announced their starting pitchers for what is left of the regular season. Clayton Kershaw will start the first game of the series and the last game of the series. A six-game regular season series to end before the playoffs are pretty intriguing. It gives you that playoff feeling of playing the same team repeatedly, but the Rockies are a long way from playoff competition.
The pitching order for the Dodgers goes as follows: Kershaw, Michael Grove, Tyler Anderson, Tony Gonsolin, Julio Urias, and Kershaw again. Colorado has only announced their starters until Sunday, beginning with Chad Kuhl, Kyle Freeland, and German Marquez.
There is a clinching scenario tonight at Dodger Stadium, as the Dodgers can clinch home-field advantage throughout the World Series. They’ve already clinched the best record, but if they somehow lose six games in a row and the Astros win six in a row, and they met each other in the postseason, Houston would have home field. However, with a win, the Dodgers will secure home field and won’t have to open a series on the road even though they won over 100 games like last season.
If you also want to keep an eye on potential playoff opponents for the Dodgers, the Mets and Braves are only a game apart for the N.L. East Crown, and they face-off in a series this weekend. The second place will face the fifth seed, which is currently the Padres, who have a 2 ½ lead on the Phillies and a three-game lead on the Brewers.
So, it is quite possible that the Dodgers will face a team in the NLDS that has won over 100 games for the second straight year.
The first pitch for Friday night is scheduled at 7:10 p.m. Pacific.
19 thoughts on “Dodgers Prepare for Last Regular Season Series”
Random thoughts, based on your post, Jose:
1) I’m fine with the team not naming a closer. There are a number of good choices in the current bullpen. Let Doc maneuver based on spot in the order due up, right-left, etc. Use your pieces where they are most likely to succeed on a game-by-game basis. I would not include Kimbrel on the playoff roster. It’s not the he never has a good outing, but it’s the inconsistency that makes me crazy. And I think we have better options to fill out the roster, especially if Gonsolin or Vgon (or both) are available.
2) I’d love to see Vargas start each of the 6 games in the Rockies series. Give him a chance to force his way onto the playoff roster. Gallo looks lost at the plate right now and Trayce is striking out way too often. I don’t see any way that either CT3 or Belli are left off the roster. The other possibility would be to add Vargas and drop Alberto, but I like the idea of that extra infielder.
3) I agree that there should be reseeding after each playoff round. The 162 games that the teams play to reach the playoffs should mean more than they do under the current system. I’d even take it a step farther, by letting the highest seed pick it’s opponent, then the second highest seed would pick, etc. Think of the drama that would build if, for example, the Dodgers went out of their way to pick a team with more wins just because they thought they would have a better chance against them. The team they picked to play against would have a grudge to settle because they were viewed as the easier opponent. Drama!
Jeff agree with all of your points. Really like the idea on a choice of reseeding playoff matchups after each round. I am a big Vargas fan and as he has begun to make contact after his adjustment to the MLB I want a guy that can make contact. Against elite pitching guys that can make contact and possibly add a bit of speed on the bases is a big offensive boost. Gallo as you say looks lost. And if they win they can change the roster. In a short series a cheer leader is not necessary and Vargas can play 1st, 2nd & 3rd LF. I think he played some 2nd in OKC.
Darn I hate agreeing with you Jeff. Just doesn’t seem right. But Robert’s would rather go with a solid 160 hitter ( with some power) rather than a future dodger who could probably hit 160 blindfolded. We have 4 guys who can barely hit the mendoza line, and you can be sure 3 of them will be in the post season starting lineup, ( and 4 if Robert’s can figure out how) . Oops scratch #2 Jeff . Vargas out . Mendoza guys in. What happens when you get 3 rbi’s. Oh well it will be a short post season anyway.
Yeah I am afraid the favorites get in rather than the ones a meritocracy would dictate. Which could cost them the WS title
OK, I guess I need to re-state my earlier comment. It should now read as follows:
I’d love to see Vargas start the 5 remaining games in the Rockies series………………………………..
It certainly seems as though they are making a statement, and that statement is that Belli, CT3, Trayce and Gallo will all be on the roster.
The one guy who is sitting on the bench right alongside Vargas is Alberto. There is a slight chance that Vargas takes his spot on the roster.
So Robert’s is up to his usual. Vargas is getting hot so he sat him down! Unbelievable
It’s pretty clear to me that Vargas wouldn’t have even been in the lineup last night except for the fact that Trayce had to take the night off for personal business.
Yes as u said it’s obvious the kids off the roster. But Alberto isn’t making contact. So add another Mendoza line guy to the line up. I don’t think they will progress through the playoffs …too many swing and miss guys. In the playoffs the winning team wins the strike out battle. I truly hope I am wrong but have maintained they won’t win the WS as Robert’s will cost them a game and with parity they can’t afford it.
The Dodgers play now situational, win probability, baseball better than any team in baseball (109 wins worth). The prior game doesn’t matter; the next game is the one that matters. It’s the matchups for the next game that determine its lineup, not how a player played the prior game. The analytics department generates a lineup plan where the sum of player skills generates the best win probability. Roberts follows that, and 109 wins result. The idea that manager and coaches are winging it on the bench is old baseball. Now at the college level managers have mentally planned ahead the optimum, win probability response to every situation.
Good analysis, Waldo, and probably quite accurate.
Doesn’t mean that us old codgers can’t get upset when a favorite player has a good night and then gets benched for the following game. Also doesn’t mean that Doc and management have to cater to our desires.
I would rather have Hanser or Vargas than Gallo.
Another member of the Gallo UnFan Club.
Not quite Waldo. The analytical department can’t get it right once they have to start playing the tough teams in the post season. After 10years they might want to reconsider their strategy. Nobody can question their regular season successes, but it’s the 10 years of post season futility that most of us would like to see change. Analytical often go against common sense.
Jansen got the save for the Braves against the Mets tonight. deGrom got lit up for 3 long balls. Is 5-4 on the year with an ERA over 3. Jansen’s save was not without drama though, he walked a batter and gave up a hit.
It’s a shame that Kimbrel has been demoted from the closer role.
Imagine a NLCS game, 1-1 going into the 9th. Braves use Kenley, we use Kimbrel.
Final score 8-7.
For obvious reasons I hope to never see Jansen in post season.
What will the bottom of our lineup look like in mid October? Everyone will be well rested. I kinda liked Lux in the 9 hole so I would go with Bellinger, CT3, Lux.
We’re gonna win with 1-6 clobbering and good pitching. We don’t have that and this post season will look like most of the others.
I’m with you, Scoop. I really like Lux batting just before Mookie. Whenever I see him batting 7th or 8th, I think he’s batting out of order. Ultimately, if Trea leaves, he might be our best option for the 2 hole.
You know I don’t want Gallo in the lineup. For whatever reason, I haven’t given up on Trayce yet, but he’s striking out far too often to be guaranteed a spot in a playoff lineup. Hopefully he can remedy that in the next 5 games.
Vargas hasn’t proven himself enough to be included (through no fault of his own – he hasn’t been given an opportunity).
That leaves your picks of CT3 and Belli, both of whom have had excellent previous playoff performances after blah seasons. Can’t argue with your conclusion.
I’ve thought for a while that maybe Lux should be batting leadoff. Has the best OB on the team , not much power and some speed and would get a lot more at bats.
Also don’t want to see Bellinger and Gallo and trace in the same lineup. Not to repeat myself but Vargas has potential and Gallo is at his potential.
Whoever makes the first playoff series roster might not be on the next series roster. The last 6 games of the regular season plus the first playoff series games will give a few players a chance to play themselves off the roster. Hopefully Vargas will get 10 PAs in the last 6 games.