The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to three games and punched their ticket for the 2022 MLB postseason on Monday night, and now have a chance to clinch the National League West title for a ninth time in the past 10 years.
The Dodgers’ magic number to win the division is down to one. They can be crowned NL West champions by defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks, or if the San Diego Padres lose to the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
When the Dodgers clinched the 2013 NL West title at Chase Field, their celebration included jumping into the pool. That’s remain a sore spot for the Diamondbacks organization, and Clayton Kershaw suggested the Dodgers are unlikely to repeat the splashdown.
Kershaw makes his third start since returning from another stint on the 15-day injured list because of lower back pain. He pitched five innings upon being activated, and followed that with six frames against the San Francisco Giants.
Kershaw is encouraged by his health and is focused on spending the final month of the regular season preparing for the playoffs. He’s 7-3 with a 2.62 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 17 starts this season. However, Kershaw is just 7-10 with a 4.03 ERA in 20 career starts at Chase Field.
Kershaw’s last time starting in a game the Dodgers won the NL West came in 2015, when he threw a complete-game shutout on the road against the Giants. Kershaw also started division-clinching games in 2009 and 2014.
The Diamondbacks counter with Merrill Kelly, who is 12-5 with a 2.94 ERA this season. However, the right-hander is 0-3 and allowed a combined 14 runs over 13 innings pitched across three starts against the Dodgers in 2022.
Kelly has completed at least seven innings in each of his past three starts but allowed four earned runs in two of those outings.
Prior to the game the Dodgers activated Tommy Kahnle off the 60-day injured list and designated Heath Hembree for assignment.
Dodgers NL West watch party
DodgerBlue.com is hosting a virtual watch party that is open to all fans to attend. Creating a Playback account is free and can seamlessly done by linking your Google account.
The Dodgers watch party room will open around 6:35 p.m. PT and include a live chat option.
RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Trea Turner
1B: Freddie Freeman
C: Will Smith
3B: Max Muncy
DH: Justin Turner
LF: Joey Gallo
2B: Chris Taylor
CF: Cody Bellinger
C: Carson Kelly
2B: Ketel Marte
RF: Jake McCarthy
1B: Christian Walker
3B: Emmanuel Rivera
DH: Stone Garrett
LF: Jordan Luplow
CF: Daulton Varsho
SS: Geraldo Perdomo
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