With the Atlanta Braves securing home-field advantage through at least the National League Championship Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers are now locked into the No. 2 seed.
It marks a third time in the past six seasons the Dodgers did not finish with the best record in the NL. They previously were third in 2018, and second to the San Francisco Giants in 2021.
The Dodgers nevertheless have clinched a spot in the NL Division Series and will face the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and No. 6 seed. The Miami Marlins entered play Thursday in possession of the third Wild Card spot by virtue of holding the tiebreaker over the Chicago Cubs.
Although the Wild Card scenario remains fluid, manager Dave Roberts said he is not paying attention to the close race and instead is focused on the Dodgers finishing the season strong, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I don’t play that game too much,” Roberts said Wednesday of following the wild-card race and potential seeding. “I think as a baseball fan, it’s great (for the playoff spots) to be going down to the wire. I do know we’re locked into the 2 seed. I just want to make sure we keep playing good baseball.”
While it appears the No. 6 seed will be decided between the Marlins and Cubs, both teams are technically still alive for No. 5 seed as well. However, they trail the Arizona Diamondbacks by two games with four remaining on the schedule.
Furthermore, the Cincinnati Reds have not been officially eliminated from postseason contention as they are 1.5 games behind Miami and Chicago in the standings. The San Diego Padres face even steeper odds with an elimination number of one.
Assuming the No. 6 seed is decided between the Marlins or Cubs, their respective schedules could be a significant factor in who punches their ticket for October baseball.
Miami has a much easier slate as they face the New York Mets on Thursday before concluding the regular season with a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
As for Chicago, they have one final matchup with the Braves before traveling to American Family Field for a three-game set against the Brewers this weekend.
2023 Dodgers postseason schedule
Game 1 of the NLDS is at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, October 7. Game 2 is scheduled for Oct. 9, with Game 3 to follow on Oct. 11.
Should the NLDS extend beyond that, Game 4 is October 12, and if necessary, Game 5 would be back at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 14.
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