Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a familiar position, having won the National League West title for a 10th time in the past 11 seasons, but a new wrinkle introduced last year remains the case again in 2023.
The expanded MLB postseason amounts to the top two division winners in both leagues receiving a layoff while awaiting their respective opponents from the Wild Card Series. The Dodgers did not use that as an excuse last year, but it was thought by some to have been a factor in the San Diego Padres pulling off an upset in the NL Division Series.
Although the Dodgers won’t have the No. 1 seed in the NL postseason bracket like last year, they are going to have five days off before hosting Game 1 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, October 7.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said one change from last year is the team plans to allow fans to attend their simulated game during preparation for the NLDS, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged that the team is considering opening one of the workouts (most likely Wednesday night) to fans in some fashion (possibly to season ticket-holders). The Atlanta Braves have announced that they will also open a workout to fans.
“I think it intensifies it a little bit more,” Roberts said of having fans watch the workout, which will include simulated-game competition. “No player likes to be embarrassed. And so, you’re facing your teammate, but just to go up there and strike out, that’s something. It’s not everything. But I do think that the fan experience, our guys playing in front of some warm bodies for a workout, I don’t see the downside.”
As the Dodgers inched closer to another NL West title and first-round bye in the postseason, Roberts stood by the team’s preparation last year despite the ultimate result. However, he acknowledged the Dodgers would look to create more intensity during 2023 NLDS preparation.
In years past the Dodgers allowed season-ticket holds to attend postseason workouts at Dodger Stadium as well. Fan interest presumably will be high once again, as the Dodgers drew 3,837,079 in attendance, good for their fifth-largest total in franchise history.
Dodgers postseason schedule
The Dodgers are hosting Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday, October 7. Game 2 is scheduled two days later, with Game 3 taking place Wednesday, October 11. If necessary, Game 4 would be the following day, and the NLDS would return to Dodger Stadium for a potential Game 5 on Saturday, October 14.
Heading into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the NL, the Dodgers await the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and still-to-be-determined opponent.
The Miami Marlins have the inside track for the No. 6 seed, but the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres remain in the picture as well.
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