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Dodgers and Rockies are tied for first place heading into final day of season

Washington Nationals v Colorado Rockies Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

With 161 games of the baseball season in the rear-view mirror, the Dodgers and Rockies sit in a flat-footed tie atop the National League West. The final day of the season is going to be wild with all 15 games on the schedule starting at 12:05 p.m. PT.

The Nationals beat the Rockies 12-2 at Coors Saturday night, giving the Dodgers control of their own destiny to stay out of the wild card game Tuesday. All they have to do now is win two more games and they win their sixth consecutive division title. Only one win is necessary should the Rockies happen to lose Sunday.

Rich Hill will take the ball Sunday at AT&T Park, pushing Walker Buehler to a potential one-game playoff Monday against Colorado at Dodger Stadium. Meanwhile, Cy Young hopeful Max Scherzer will look to spoil the Rockies hopes of their first division title when he toes the rubber in Colorado.

There’s also a tie in the NL Central between the Cubs and Brewers, leaving the door open for those two clubs to join the Game 163 party.

If both divisions are not decided on Sunday, the Cubs and Brewers will play at 10:05 a.m. PT Monday at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers and Rockies will play at 1:09 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium.

Should only one division need to be determined, the game would be at 1:09 p.m. PT no matter who the two teams are.

The teams that win the division get a pass until Thursday when the NLDS begins. The losers play on Tuesday night in the wild card game for the opportunity to advance to play the NL Central division winner.

It will be critical for the Dodgers to come away with the division title if they don’t want to be put in a tough spot of either having a starter go on short rest, or a bullpen game in a wild card situation. After Hill and Buehler pitch, the Dodgers would have to decide to go with Hyun-jin Ryu on three days rest, or hand the ball to Ross Stripling or Alex Wood Tuesday on the road.

Either scenario is less than ideal and it’s almost a guarantee the Dodgers would stay away from using Ryu on short rest.

The best thing that could happen for the Dodgers is the Nationals beating the Rockies, giving Los Angeles the division outright if they sweep San Francisco. In that case, the Dodgers would open the playoffs at home against the Braves on Thursday in the NLDS.