With the National League West and top seed in the postseason essentially clinched for the Los Angeles Dodgers, they are now just waiting to see who their Wild Card Series opponent will be.
Unlike a normal season when the Dodgers would wait until the conclusion of the Wild Card Game to learn the identity of their NL Division Series opponent, they do not have that luxury this year due to the expanded playoffs.
There may be only a week remaining in the regular season, but there are still a handful of teams that could earn the eighth and final postseason spot in the NL.
Because of that, Clayton Kershaw is among the Dodgers not paying too much attention to the standings. “It changes like every day,” he said with a laugh. “There’s no point in looking.
“I feel like it’s one team and then there’s six other teams that it changes between every day. This is a one-year deal, and we understand that. Once the postseason starts we’ll be ready for whoever gets there.”
Chris Taylor agreed that scoreboard watching doesn’t make sense right now and noted L.A. will continue to focus on taking care of their own business.
“There’s so many teams that are right on that seven-eight range right now,” he said. “We’ll see where it all plays out when it’s done. All we can do is focus on winning games and winning our division.”
Roberts keeping eye on standings
For the Dodgers players, it doesn’t make sense to be mindful of the NL playoff standings as their focus needs to remain on the field and getting ready for another October run.
There’s a bit more leeway for Dave Roberts, however. “It’s more of just staying in the know and knowing what’s going on with potential matchups,” he said of monitoring standings.
“Just kind of watching guys when there’s a game on. I try to keep my eyes on potential guys we might be seeing, both pitchers and hitters.”
Perhaps the most difficult opponent the Dodgers could face is the Cincinnati Reds, considering they have three strong starting pitchers in Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. In a three-game series, that would be a tall task for the Dodgers offense.
Of course, if L.A. plays the way they capable, there shouldn’t be any issues advancing, regardless of who the opponent is. As the final week plays out, the Dodgers should get some more clarity on who they will be playing so they can plan accordingly.
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