Can The Dodgers Catch Atlanta Braves? Focus Not On Top Seed In NL Postseason Bracket

With the regular season winding down, the Los Angeles Dodgers have already punched their ticket to October by winning the National League West division title for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

It also appears likely they’ll finish with the No. 2 seed in the NL postseason bracket, but an outside chance remains to catch the Atlanta Braves. The Dodgers trail the Braves by 3.5 games in the standings with 10 games to go, and while they’d like to have the top spot, catching them isn’t the primary focus.

“Obviously there’s the benefit of looking way out to the home-field advantage in the CS,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“I just think it will play out the way it’s going to. I’m not going to make decisions on trying to catch the Braves. Our thought is just to beat these guys tonight and then get ready for the Giants. However it kind of washes out, we’ll prepare that way.”

The Dodgers need the Braves to take their foot off the gas or fall into another poor stretch to have a chance at the top seed, so much of it is out of their control. All the Dodgers can do is continue to play their best each time out and hope it works out in the end.

“We’re just going to continue to play our game,” Miguel Rojas said. “We’re not looking at the standings too much. We did it for a couple days, obviously, because we were looking to clinch the division. But all we do is take care of our business, winning every series.

“Like you guys see, we take care of our business, celebrate every series that we win, and that’s what we continue to do. I think we have three more series after this one, and we’re looking forward to win three and then three more so we can get a championship. That’s our goal.

“Our goal is to win six series. Whoever is behind us or ahead of us, we don’t care about that.”

One thing is certain though, the Dodgers aren’t looking to manipulate the postseason bracket and seeding based on who they match up best with.

“I don’t want to play the be careful what you wish for game,” Roberts said. “You look at the Phillies, it’s a very talented team. You saw what they did last year. They can pitch and put up a lot of runs quickly. You look at the Brewers, they can really pitch. They can really pitch, and in any series they’re very dangerous.

“And the other teams that are in the mix, they’re there for a reason. Again, I think it’s just easier once we know the opponent, we prepare and try to beat them.”

Roberts said the benefit of home-field advantage through the World Series matters because the Dodgers play well at home, players don’t need to adjust their sleep patters as much, the stadium familiarity, and the fans helping provide energy, but all they can do is just play out the season.

“I think that’s the best way to do it,” Roberts said. “I think we all know what’s in front of us, but there’s not a whole lot we can do right now. End of October is a long ways away, but today is here. I find it a lot easier just to think about today.”

Kiké Hernández wants Dodgers to stay locked in

The Dodgers ended the 2022 season by losing three of their final four games, and Kiké Hernández is hoping the team can stay focused to finish out the season and carry that momentum into the playoffs.

“I wasn’t here last year, so I don’t really know what happened last year. But from my experience in years past, it’s just staying locked in. Staying focused on what the objective is, what the goal is. Which is to win the World Series.” Hernández said.

“But we also want to get home-field advantage. I know that the Braves are a couple games better than us right now, so we’re just going to try and win as many games as we can.”

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