We know the Dodgers’ first postseason game will be Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday, October 11 at Dodger Stadium. We don’t yet know what team they will play, but the options are becoming more clear.
As the No. 1 seed in the NL playoffs, the Dodgers will play the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 wild card series, the two wild card teams with the best records. It’s looking more and more like that will be the Mets playing the Padres.
San Diego clinched a wild card berth on Sunday, ensuring they will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed. But their work to secure the higher seed isn’t yet complete. The Padres (87-72) are a game up on the Phillies (86-73), but Philadelphia owns the tiebreaker by winning the season series. The Padres’ magic number to clinch the No. 4 seed is three, so they need three of six outcomes to go their way for this to happen.
The Phillies’ magic number for the No. 4 seed is four, so four of six outcomes in their favor. The Phillies finish the season in Houston, while the Padres are home to the Giants. But Philadelphia isn’t in the playoffs just yet. They are up two games on the Brewers (84-75), and own the tiebreaker by winning the season series against Milwaukee. The Phillies’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one.
The National League East hasn’t been officially decided yet, but the Braves wrested control away from New York by sweeping a weekend series in Atlanta. The Braves (100-59) not only lead the division by two games, but Sunday’s win gave them the tiebreaker as well, by winning 10 of 19 against the Mets (98-61). The Braves need only one of six outcomes to go their way to clinch the division.
Which means, unless the Mets sweep the Nationals at home and the Marlins sweep the Braves in Miami, New York is headed for the No. 4 seed as a wild card team.
The Dodgers this season lost four out of seven to the Mets, facing Jacob deGrom (and losing) only once and didn’t face Max Scherzer. Should New York end up as the No. 4 seed and win the wild card round, deGrom and Scherzer would only start once each in the Division Series unless short rest is involved.
The Dodgers also lost four of seven against the Phillies this season, and beat the Padres 14 times in 19 games, winning all six series against San Diego.