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Game 162 is here, and it doesn’t mean a thing

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

After several weeks of baseball with their postseason standing all but assured, the Dodgers have a truly meaningless baseball game on Sunday, closing out the regular season on Sunday afternoon against the Rockies.

The Dodgers are not alone in this regard. For contending teams, everything in baseball was wrapped up officially on Saturday. The postseason matchups are all known, seeding and all, so we are basically down to individual stats and teams jostling for 2018 draft order on Sunday.

Cody Bellinger needs one home run for 40, and four RBI for 100.

Tim Locastro, who stole his first major league base on Saturday night, if he doesn’t bat on Sunday will be the first Dodger ever with at least one stolen base in a season with no plate appearances.

Ross Stripling, who pitched a scoreless inning in relief in Friday’s series opener, starts for the Dodgers on Sunday in what is a bullpen game. Stripling needs one strikeout to set a new career high.

Starting lineups

Pos Dodgers Pos Rockies
Pos Dodgers Pos Rockies
CF Taylor CF Blackmon (L)
SS Seager (L) RF Tapia (L)
3B Turner 3B Arenado
1B Bellinger (L) LF Parra (L)
LF Hernandez 1B Desmond
2B Forsythe C Lucroy
C Grandal (S) SS Valaika
RF Puig 2B Amarista (L)
P Stripling P Freeland (L)
Time: 12:10 p.m. PT TV: SportsNet LA, TBS

Justin Turner won’t win the Dodgers’ first batting title in 54 years, trailing Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon, .330 to .321 entering Sunday. If Turner goes 5-for-5 he’d raise his average to .32836, which would require an 0-for-4 from Blackmon to get down to .32817.

But Turner will be the first Dodgers hitter to finish with a .500 slugging percentage and .400 on-base percentage since Gary Sheffield in 2001. Turner enters Sunday at .321/.415/.527. Even an 0-for-5 on the season’s final day would leave him at .317/.411/.522.

Chris Taylor enters Sunday with a .497 slugging percentage, with 254 total bases in 511 at-bats, just shy of giving the Dodgers a third player with a .500 slugging percentage along with Turner and Bellinger. At .488, Yasiel Puig has an outside shot of joining club .500 as well.

Puig has 28 home runs. The Dodgers haven’t had two players with 30 home runs in the same season since Sheffield and Shawn Green in 2001.

Austin Barnes has a .404 on-base percentage in 260 plate appearances. If he can avoid going three plate appearances without reaching base, or if he reaches base at least once in five plate appearances, he’ll be the fifth Dodger ever to post a .400 on-base percentage with at least 40 games caught in a season.

Logan Forsythe is one double shy of giving the Dodgers a franchise-record nine different players with 20 doubles.

The Dodgers need one double as a team to set a new club record, currently tied with the 2006 team with 307 doubles.

But mostly Sunday is a balance between keeping everyone healthy while also making sure players get whatever game reps they need to feel comfortable, especially since the club has four days off before starting the NLDS on Friday at home.

Kyle Freeland starts for the Rockies.

Game info

Time: 12:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, TBS