MLB playoff projections: Can the Dodgers secure home-field advantage in the World Series?
Clinching the National League West title as early as they did enables the Dodgers to foresee the first step of their postseason with reasonable certainty with five days remaining in the regular season. Whether they can secure home-field advantage should they reach their ultimate goal — the World Series — is still a question.
The World Series team with the better regular-season record plays host to Games 1 and 2, and Games 6 and 7 if necessary. After Tuesday’s games, the Dodgers trail only the Baltimore Orioles, the American League team with the best record, by one game.
Despite defeating the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, the Dodgers (98-60) will be seeded No. 2 among the six NL playoff teams after the NL East champion Atlanta Braves (102-56) clinched the No. 1 seed with a walk-off win Wednesday.
The Braves and the Dodgers are guaranteed a bye through the best-of-three wild-card round, then hold home-field advantage in the best-of-five division series in a 2-2-1 format. Should they advance to the best-of-seven NL Championship Series, the Dodgers would have home-field advantage against any opponent except the Braves in a 2-3-2 format.
Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández drove in runs in the 11th inning to push the Dodgers to a 6-2 NL West-clinching win over the Seattle Mariners.
“We are trying to win ballgames. You can’t turn it off and turn it back on,” Dodgers utility player Chris Taylor said.
In the NL Division Series, the Dodgers will play the winner of the wild card series between the Brewers and the No. 6-seeded team, while the Braves will play the winner of the wild card series between the No. 4- and No. 5-seeded teams.
The Philadelphia Phillies are the top wild-card team, or No. 4 seed. Four teams are battling for the last two spots, according to Fangraphs), but after Wednesday’s games the Arizona Diamondbacks (97.8% chance of getting in) and the Miami Marlins (69.3%) are the clear favorites. The Chicago Cubs (29.4%) and the Cincinnati Reds (3.4%) are long shots.
The Braves and Dodgers will be idle for five days after the season concludes Oct. 1 because all four division series are scheduled to begin Oct. 7.
The Dodgers took an unconventional path to another NL West championship. They are hoping that approach results in a World Series title.
In the American League, the Orioles’ recent surge gives them a 99.3% probability of winning the East and enjoying the home-field advantage through the ALCS. The Rays, 2½ games back of the Orioles, are locked into the top wild-card berth and No. 4 seed. The Orioles are 99-59 while the Rays are 97-62.
Ronald Acuña Jr. has put up great numbers, but MVP favorite Mookie Betts’ stats are better and his versatility is critical to the Dodgers’ success.
The AL West remains a three-team battle, with the Texas Rangers (89-69) pulling away from the Houston Astros (87-72) and Seattle Mariners (85-73). The Central-champion Minnesota Twins (85-73) have the same record as the Mariners.
The last two wild-card berths also are unclear because the Toronto Blue Jays (87-71) — the third-place team in the East — are ahead of the Astros and Mariners. Two of those three will make the postseason.
The Dodgers’ incentive to win as many games as possible is to ensure home-field advantage should they make the World Series — which begins Oct. 27 — by finishing with a better record than the Orioles and Rays.
Also, attaining 100 victories for the fifth time since 2017 by going 2-2 or better the rest of the season would be quite an achievement considering the Dodgers won 100 or more games only five times from 1900 to 2016.
“Nothing really changes with us,” Taylor said. “Every time we step on the field we try to win games.”
RJ Peete, the son of former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete and actress Holly Robinson-Peete, hasn’t let autism stop him from living his dream with the Dodgers.
Reaching triple-digit wins is no guarantee of becoming World Series champion. None of the Dodgers’ previous nine 100-victory seasons since 1900 resulted in a title — their 2020 World Series championship came after the pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season.
And in two of the seasons, the Dodgers didn’t even win the NL pennant, finishing second to the Giants in 1962 and to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1942.
This story will be updated daily to reflect the pennant and wild-card races.
Dodgers’ 100-win seasons since 1900
2022: 111-51, Lost NLDS to the Padres
2021: 106-56, Lost NLCS to the Braves
2019: 106-56, Lost NLDS to the Nationals
2017: 104-58, Lost World Series to the Astros
1974: 102-60, Lost World Series to the Athletics
1962: 102-63, Second place in the National League
1953: 105-49, Lost World Series to the Yankees
1942: 104-50, Second place in the National League
1941: 100-54, Lost World Series to the Yankees
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