The Los Angeles Dodgers went 3-3 on their road trip but returned to Dodger Stadium with their sights set on winning a 10th National League West title in the last 11 seasons.
With a 7-3 win over the Washington Nationals on Sunday, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch the division to seven games. However, the Dodgers’ magic number is essentially six since they already hold the tiebreaker over the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
L.A. won their season series against Arizona by going 8-5 in head-to-head matchups and hold a 12-game lead over them in the NL West standings.
Meanwhile, the third-place San Francisco Giants are still technically in the picture as well but trail the Dodgers by 13.5 games in the NL standings. Though, the Giants’ elimination number is only six.
The Dodgers have run away with the division since the All-Star break, going 36-18 in their last 54 games. That included a torrid stretch in August in which L.A. went 24-5.
The Diamondbacks, who ended the unofficial first half of the season with a half-game lead over the Dodgers, have gone just 24-30 in the second half.
If the Dodgers go on to win the NL West, it will be their second consecutive division title since finishing second to the Giants in 2021. L.A. previously clinched the NL West in eight straight seasons from 2013-2020.
When can Dodgers clinch the NL West?
The earliest possible date that the Dodgers can clinch the NL West is Friday. L.A. began a brief homestand Monday with a loss to the San Diego Padres, while Arizona is in the midst a four-game series with the New York Mets, and the Giants started the week with a matchup against the Cleveland Guardians.
But to clinch on Friday, the Dodgers would need to go on a three-game winning streak, and have the Diamondbacks and Giants both lose every game through that date.
A more likely scenario is the Dodgers clinching the NL West during the second or third game of their road series against the Seattle Mariners, or perhaps early next week when facing the Detroit Tigers at home.
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