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Clayton Kershaw and Dodgers continue hunt for October

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

By the time Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in San Francisco, the Dodgers could already have their ticket punched for October. If the Cardinals lose their early game to the Cubs, the Dodgers clinch the second wild card.

But there is still a shot at the division that the Dodgers are pursuing, needing help from the Nationals. All they can do is win and hope Stephen Strasburg and potentially Max Scherzer take care of Colorado.

Kershaw makes his final start of the regular season, his fourth against the Giants this season. In the previous three, the lefty has held San Francisco to three runs in 21 innings. At AT&T Park, Kershaw owns a 13-4 record and 1.30 ERA in 22 games (21 starts).

Should the Dodgers get through Saturday with a win and the Rockies lose, there may be a shakeup in the rotation. Rich Hill is prepared to pitch whenever he is needed, whether that’s Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

However unlikely, if the Rockies lose both games this weekend and the Dodgers win both, Los Angeles wins the division. If the Rockies lose one and the Dodgers win both, their will be a 163rd game at Dodger Stadium Monday to decide the NL West.

If the Rockies lose Saturday and the Dodgers win, Hill could start Sunday to allow Walker Buehler to pitch Monday. Beyond that, should the Rockies win both of their games, Buehler could pitch the wild card game.

Whatever the case, the more games the Dodgers have to play before a potential NLDS, the less it plays in their favor due to where they stand in the rotation.