The Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies take the field Saturday night with each facing a scenario in which a win carries playoff implications. For the Dodgers, it would clinch home-field advantage through the World Series.
They’ve already secured as much if the Fall Classic were to be a matchup with the Houston Astros, who lost Saturday afternoon. Should the Dodgers drop a second consecutive game to the Rockies, they can clinch homefield for the World Series if the Cleveland Indians lose.
For Colorado, a win, or a Milwaukee Brewers’ loss gets them the second spot in the National League Wild Card Game and a date with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound for a final tuneup before his start Friday in Game 1 of the NL Division Series. He enters 18-4 with a 2.21 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 0.93 WHIP this season.
Kershaw, who is vying for a fourth NL Cy Young Award, is tied for the Major League lead in wins, paces all qualified pitchers in ERA, leads in road ERA (1.79), and is third in road WHIP (0.95) and opponents’ on-base plus slugging percentage (.578).
Kershaw is 3-2 with a 3.64 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 35 strikeouts and allowed four home runs in 29.2 innings pitched across five starts against the Rockies this season. Included in that is 1-1 record and 4.15 ERA in two outings at Coors Field.
The Dodgers face German Marquez, who is 11-7 with a 4.38 ERA. The young right-hander allowed four runs (two earned), walked three batters and surrendered a home run in four innings in a start at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 8.
Chris Taylor returns to the Dodgers lineup after a night off to provide additional rest for his recovery from a hyperextended knee. Taylor deemed his slipping on first base more of a scare than actual injury.
Charlie Blackmon, who on Friday broke the MLB record for most RBI by a leadoff batter in a single season, is a career .283/.327/.457 with one double, two triples, one home run and two RBI in 46 at-bats against Kershaw.