We have reached the final day of the baseball season, with the Dodgers secure in their postseason setting and placement, not a part of the organized chaos that comes with every team starting at the same time.
Major League Baseball added an awesome wrinkle to the final day of the season in 2015, with every game scheduled for 12:10 p.m. PT, to prevent gamesmanship based on the time of game for spots up for grabs. There are 14 games slated for noon Pacific on Sunday, with only the Cardinals and Braves and their meaningless doubleheader a different sort, with a 10 a.m. PT start.
Still up for grabs on Sunday include the American League West, the No. 1 seed in the AL, the location of both Wild Card Games, and one AL wild card spot. There is still a decent chance at a game on Monday, depending on how Sunday shakes out.
But the Dodgers are locked in. They are the No. 2 seed in the National League, and will open the NLDS against the Mets at home. Sunday is purely academic, save for one important milestone for Clayton Kershaw in his final tune-up.
Kershaw needs six strikeouts to become the first pitcher with 300 strikeouts in a season since Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling both turned the trick in 2002.
Kershaw also needs to record 10 outs to secure the major league lead in innings pitched, something no Dodgers pitcher has done since Sandy Koufax in 1965-66. The last Dodgers pitcher to lead the National League in innings was Orel Hershiser, who did so three straight years from 1987-89.
Kershaw's outing will be brief, though the exact parameters haven't yet been revealed, whether that means a three-inning start or up to five or six innings with a low pitch count, presumably getting ready for a Game 1 start on Friday that manager Don Mattingly hasn't yet announced.
With a win on Sunday, the Dodgers would have their best home record since moving to Los Angeles, at 55-26, which would also tie St. Louis for the top home mark in MLB.
The Dodgers are 27-10 at home against the National League West this season, and are 18-6 against the Padres at Dodger Stadium in their last 24 meetings in Los Angeles.
Time: 12:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA