It seems inevitable that the Dodgers will be celebrating an 8th straight division title at some point during the next day or so. Even though San Diego gave them a good scare, the Padres have since fizzled out and will likely have to settle for 2nd place behind LA in the NL West.
In a traditional season, San Diego would be forced to play in a one-game playoff for the privilege of playing Los Angeles in the Divisional Series. This year, however, things are a bit different and a matchup between the Padres and Dodgers would have to wait an extra round. With the postseason expansion, 8 teams in each league will compete in a Wild Card Weekend prior to the traditional Divisional Series.
As of the end of Sunday’s games, there are four teams in contention for the 7th and 8th seeds in the National League: The Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and San Francisco Giants. Whichever of these teams finished 8th will face LA in a best-of-three series hosted by the Dodgers for all three games if needed. While none of these teams have played as well as the Dodgers have, there is one team that fans clearly want to avoid facing at all costs.
Which team are you more worried about the #Dodgers potentially facing in the Wild Card round of the playoffs?
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) September 19, 2020
The Dodgers/Giants rivalry has had many defining moments in its history, but recent fortunes haven’t been kind to the team in the bay. Although the season series was closely contested with LA winning 6 and losing 4, the stats show that it wasn’t as close of a matchup as it appears to be on paper.
Over the course of their ten meetings, the Dodgers’ offense outpaced the Giants 55 runs to 26 and looked impressive doing it. The losses were each by one or two points and came down to the wire while the wins were often dominating blowouts.
Shockingly, the two clubs have never faced off in the postseason on the west coast, adding an extra wrinkle to the equation of the long and sometimes bloody history of the long time rivals.
As things currently stand, who the Dodgers will play is a virtual toss up. The Reds, Brewers, and Giants are tied by winning percentage at .500. The Phillies are half a game ahead of them in the 7th spot. Milwaukee and Cincinatti match up for a three game series starting today that could be make or break for one or even both of the clubs. SF ends their season playing SD and Philadelphia wraps against the very good Tampa Bay Rays.
It’s been a wild two months, but this final week of games is going to take it to another level. Thankfully, the Dodgers are in a prime position for another run deep into October. Considering that the alternative was not having baseball at all, whichever team faces Los Angeles in the opening round will be a welcome sight for Dodgers fans.