Why a tiebreaker could be the worst-case scenario for the Dodgers (and the Giants)

The Giants' Brandon Belt (9) reacts to striking out against the Dodgers.
The Giants’ Brandon Belt (9) reacts to striking out against the Dodgers and catcher Will Smith on May 21 in San Francisco.
(D. Ross Cameron / Associated Press)

The Dodgers entered Friday’s series opener against the Cincinnati Reds one game behind the San Francisco Giants with 15 games remaining. The teams could, by the end of the day, be in a tie for first place in the National League West.

So, what happens if they finish the season with the same record? Well, the same thing that happened in 2018 when the Dodgers and Colorado Rockies completed their 162-game schedules with even records.

The Dodgers and Rockies played a tiebreaker the day after they each finished the regular season 91-71. Game 163 (it counted as part of the regular season) was held at Dodger Stadium because the Dodgers won the season series.


The Dodgers won and ended up advancing to the World Series where they lost to the Boston Red Sox. The Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game before the Milwaukee Brewers swept them in three games in the National League Division Series.

This year, the Dodgers would not have home-field advantage in a tiebreaker. The Giants took two of three games in the rivals’ last series of the season to eke out a 10-9 season series victory.

The game, as a result, would be held Oct. 4 at Oracle Park. The winner would advance to the NLDS and get some time off. The loser would host the NL wild-card game Oct. 6, meaning that club would play three games in four days. The two NLDS are scheduled to begin Oct. 8.

Dodgers get homers from Seager, Smith and Lux and Clayton Kershaw pitches five strong innings in victory.

Sept. 19, 2021