With the Los Angeles Dodgers well on their way to an unprecedented seventh consecutive National League West title, much of their focus is on getting healthy, maintaining it, evaluating pitching roles, and securing home-field advantage through the World Series.
Even after losing two of three to the New York Yankees during Players Weekend, the Dodgers enter Tuesday tied for the best record in baseball at 86-47. They and the Yankees hold a half-game lead over the Houston Astros.
The Dodgers secured home-field advantage through the World Series in 2017, though that went to the Boston Red Sox the following year.
As they remain on pace to finish atop the MLB standings this season, Justin Turner considers homefield for the entirety of the playoffs to be extremely important, per Jorge Castillo of the L.A. Times
“It matters,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said before Sunday’s game. “One-hundred percent.”
The Dodgers are an MLB-best 52-18 at home this season, ahead of the Astros and Yankees who each have 49 such wins. They have 11 games remaining at Dodger Stadium and should break the L.A. franchise record for most home wins.
That was set by the 2017 club that won 57 games at Chavez Ravine. The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, which won the National League pennant, hold the organization’s all-time record with 60 home wins.
Beyond the simple fact of the possibility to play more postseason games at Dodger Stadium by virtue of clinching home-field advantage, the Dodgers would benefit from an American League champion — presumed to be the Astros or Yankees — having their respective vaunted lineups weekend some by the pitcher’s spot.
Furthermore, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu have all been much more dominant this season when pitching at home. Granted, each has proven capable in the past of succeeding on the road, even in the postseason.
Offensively, the Dodgers have hit .265/.342/.479 at home, compared to .252/.340/.468 away from Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers figure to be in good position to keep their hold on the best record. Of their 29 remaining games, 21 are against the NL West. A strong finish would not only keep them ahead of the Astros and Yankees but potentially set a new franchise record as well.
The 2017 team holds the L.A. mark with 104 wins, while the 1953 won an all-time franchise record 105 games.