The Los Angeles Dodgers closed out the regular season in disappointing fashion, losing five of six games after clinching a fourth straight National League West title. The skid prevented them from securing home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.
Though, in some regard that was a wash as the Washington Nationals’ win on Saturday would have guaranteed them home field even if the Dodgers had not been swept by the San Francisco Giants. Friday’s NLDS opener will see aces Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer duel at Nationals Park.
Los Angeles of course will not have the luxury of hosting a potential Game 5 in the NLDS. The value of home-field advantage is often debated throughout baseball.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said it was something his club would pursuit, but only as part of the bigger picture of playing quality baseball during the final week of the regular season.
Roberts didn’t seem worried nor perturbed in failing to clinch home-field advantage. Kenley Jansen is also among those who was unmoved by that, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
“To me, it doesn’t matter,” said Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen who pitched a desultory eighth inning Saturday. “We just don’t want to go home after the first round again.”
Los Angeles had home-field advantage in the NLDS over the past two seasons and were eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets. In 2013, the Dodgers began the first round on the road against the Atlanta Braves, and won the series in four games.
The Dodgers went 53-28 at home this season, compared to a 38-43 mark on the road. Although regular-season results are cast aside more times than not, the Dodgers won five of six head-to-head meetings with the Nationals, including winning two of three in Washington D.C.