For the first time since 2012, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not winners of the National League West division title. Despite an incredibly strong season where they have won 106 games, second-most in baseball, the division now belongs to the San Francisco Giants.
It was an incredible run for the Dodgers, who won eight straight division titles dating back to 2013. While those years often ended in heartbreak, the run of NL West titles was capped off by a 2020 World Series championship, their first since 1988.
The 2021 Dodgers have also won more games than any defending World Series champion since MLB began using divisions in 1969.
This now is a third time in Dodgers franchise history they were able to return to the playoffs the season after winning the World Series; they failed to reach postseason play in 1989, 1982, 1964, and 1960.
The Dodgers lost in the World Series the two times their defending club did reach the postseason in 1956 and 1966.
While it is a disappointing result, the Giants have certainly earned their way to winning the NL West for the first time since 2012.
The Dodgers had multiple chances to take the division lead, but in the end it took a historically great season from the Giants, who set a franchise record as the winningest team in club history since they moved to San Francisco in 1958, to knock the Dodgers off their throne.
Since the trade deadline, L.A. was an MLB-best 43-13 but were only able to gain one game on the Giants during that span.
The Dodgers also become the 11th team in MLB history to win 100 games or more and not win their division, which was most recently done by the 2018 New York Yankees and 2001 Oakland Athletics.
Dodgers face Cardinals in Wild Card Game
L.A. is now locked into an NL Wild Card Game matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals and Adam Wainwright on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
The game will be held at Dodger Stadium as the Dodgers clinched the top Wild Card spot during the middle of September.
First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. PT and TBS will exclusively broadcast the one-game playoff with pregame coverage at 4 p.m.
Of greater concern for the Dodgers, however, is Max Muncy leaving Sunday’s finale against the Milwaukee Brewers due to an apparent left arm/wrist injury.
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