What’s Next For Dodgers After Clinching NL West?

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers are heading back to the postseason for the 11th consecutive season after clinching their 10th National League West title since 2013.

While most of the heavy lifting in the regular season is done, the Dodgers still have a magic number of six to officially clinch the No. 2 seed in the NL playoff bracket. That’s due to holding a tiebreaker over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Furthermore, L.A. is still technically alive for the top seed in the NL as well, but the Atlanta Braves have a 4.5-game lead with 14 left on the schedule.

If the Dodgers maintain the No. 2 seed, they will get a first-round bye and face the winner of the NL Wild Card Series between the No. 3 and 6 seeds, in the Division Series.

While securing one of the top two seeds is a priority, the Dodgers will also look to rest some of their players before the playoffs begin. The likes of Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Max Muncy and Miguel Rojas were all out of the lineup in the series finale at T-Mobile Park.

L.A. could also experiment by using pitchers in different roles and see if there’s a potential fit on their postseason pitching staff. Shelby Miller opened Sunday’s matchup against the Mariners, with Ryan Yarbrough and Gavin Stone serving as the bulk pitchers.

The Dodgers now head back to Dodger Stadium for their final homestand against the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants. The team will then conclude the regular season with a seven-game road trip against the Colorado Rockies and Giants.

Dave Roberts: Dodgers must remain focused on ‘playing good baseball’

Even though the Dodgers have already punched their ticket to the postseason, manager Dave Roberts emphasized the importance of the team keeping their foot on the gas. “Every September, I think we’ve played good baseball, except one,” Roberts recently said.

“Early on in September (2017) we were really bad until the last week and we kind of went on a run of seven out of nine, I think. It’s just focusing on playing good baseball. Try not to get too far ahead and then once we get to a certain point, dial it up.

“I think as we look out in the next couple weeks, trying to get a little more creative in how we put guys on the pitching side in potential roles. But outside of that, on the position-player side, run guys out there and expect them to play the way they have for 140-plus games.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!