The Los Angeles Dodgers capped off their final regular season homestand on a strong note, coming away with a 14-0 rout of the San Diego Padres. By doing so, they maintained a 1.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the National League West.
Beginning Monday, the Dodgers have six games remaining on their schedule — with each coming on the road. The contests are split three games apiece with Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field and San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
On the flip side, the Rockies play host to a pair of NL East teams in the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals for seven collective games at Coors Field.
Despite their obvious home-field advantage in the final week of regular season action, it’s the Dodgers who nevertheless control their own postseason destiny and can clinch a sixth consecutive NL West title as soon as Wednesday.
For such a scenario to occur, Los Angeles would need to sweep Arizona as well as Philadelphia winning the first three contests of their four-game set against Colorado.
Should the Dodgers punch their ticket to the postseason on Wednesday, it would be the latest they’ve clinched the NL West since 2015. That year, the club achieved the feat on Sept. 29 in Game 157.
Clinching on Wednesday remains easier said than done, as the Dodgers will be challenged with conquering Robbie Ray and Zack Greinke in their three-game set over the Diamondbacks. Moreover, the Rockies will avoid facing Phillies ace Aaron Nola this week.
That being said, the NL West will more likely than not be determined before this weekend, when the Dodgers make their first visit to AT&T Park since April. In two separate road series that month, Los Angeles posted a 2-4 record against San Francisco.
The Dodgers last concluded regular season play at AT&T Park in 2016, to which they were swept by the Giants in three games. San Francisco wound up sneaking into the postseason with the second NL Wild Card spot as a result and went as far as advancing to the NL Division Series.
Dating back to that season, the Dodgers are just 9-17 at AT&T Park. As it currently stands, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner is not slated to start during the three-game series.
That could change, however, as manager Bruce Bochy was previously contemplating with the idea of starting him as an effort to disrupt the Dodgers’ postseason plans.
To make matters worse, the Rockies are projected to miss out on facing Nationals aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in their three-game series this weekend.
All of this sets up for intriguing final week of regular season play, though it’s the Dodgers that remain in the driver’s seat with an eye on October.