2023 MLB Postseason: Dodgers Clinch Spot In NLDS

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers already punched their ticket to the postseason by winning the National League West division title for a 10th time in the past 11 seasons, and now they’ve clinched a first-round bye due to securing one of the top two seeds.

The Dodgers join the Atlanta Braves as the two NL teams that have will begin the playoffs in the NL Division Series. The Dodgers officially clinched by winning on Saturday while the likely third-seed Milwaukee Brewers lost to the Miami Marlins earlier in the day.

Thus, the Dodgers are due to host Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday, October 7. Game 2 at Dodger Stadium is scheduled for October 9. If necessary, the NLDS would return to Los Angeles for Game 5 on October 14.

While it won’t have any bearing on the NLDS schedule, it remains possible the Dodgers finish with the best record in the NL, but they trail the Braves by four games with just eight remaining, making it an unlikely scenario. The Braves hold a magic number of four over the Dodgers, needing just to tie in the standings as a result of winning four of their seven head-to-head matchups.

The Dodgers do have a chance to pass the Baltimore Orioles as they trail them by a half-game in the standings. If they were to overtake Baltimore, that would guarantee the Dodgers home-field advantage in the World Series, if they were to advance that far.

They are also still playing to catch the Braves, but it would take a lot to go right, and because of that it isn’t their primary focus as the season winds down.

Roberts said the benefit of home-field advantage through the World Series matters because the Dodgers play well at Dodger Stadium, players don’t need to adjust their sleep patters as much, overall familiarity and fans helping provide energy, but all they can do is just play out the season.

“I think that’s the best way to do it,” Roberts said. “I think we all know what’s in front of us, but there’s not a whole lot we can do right now. End of October is a long ways away, but today is here. I find it a lot easier just to think about today.”

Dodgers postseason rotation not based on NLDS opponent

Assuming the Dodgers finish as the No. 2 seed, which is the likely scenario, they would be set to face either the Brewers or the sixth Wild Card team in the NLDS.

While it could make some sense to set their rotation based on the opponent, Roberts doesn’t believe that will be the case.

“I don’t think that the opponent has anything to do with how we’ll do the rotation,” he noted. “I think that we’re still having conversations. I think it’s fair to say Bobby’s (Miller) going to pitch one of the first two games and I think it’s fair to say that Clayton (Kershaw) will.

“So I think that’s kind of regardless of which opponent we play.”

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