Dodgers: What Kind of Finish is Needed to Make the Playoffs?

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LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Brian Dozier #6 of the Los Angeles Dodger is showered by teammates, after his single scored Yasmani Grandal #9, to win 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants during the 12th inning at Dodger Stadium on August 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Brian Dozier #6 of the Los Angeles Dodger is showered by teammates, after his single scored Yasmani Grandal #9, to win 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants during the 12th inning at Dodger Stadium on August 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers begin a crucial series with the Padres tonight as the Dodgers need to start winning series to make the postseason.  What kind of finish is needed to get into the playoffs?

Tonight is the start of the Dodgers playoff push as the club is rounding third and heading home for the final stretch of the regular season.  Counting tonight’s game there are exactly 34 games left for the Dodgers to make up four and a half games on the Diamondbacks and three and a half games on the Rockies.

The Dodgers currently have a 67-61 record which has them on the outside looking in for both the NL West race and the wild card hunt.  The wild card is going to be harder to get since the Dodgers have four teams they would need to jump in the Cardinals, Rockies, Brewers, and Phillies.  The NL West is less complicated as the Dodgers just need to pass Arizona and Colorado.

If the Dodgers can do something like 24-10 in their last thirty-four games of 25-9 that should get the Dodgers into the postseason for sure.  In all likelihood, a finish like that would win the Dodgers their sixth straight NL West title.  In the scenarios above, the Dodgers would finish with 91 or 92 wins.  It’s unlikely the Rockies and Dbacks finish with more than 90 wins.

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The Dodgers have eleven series left so they would need to win every series left to have a 25-9 type finish to this season.  That’s a tall task for a team that has gone 3-7 in their last ten games with a three-game losing streak.

The good news for the Dodgers is that they have a favorable schedule left with the Padres twice, Mets, and Reds all scheduled to play against the Dodgers over the final 34 games.  The other good news for the Dodgers is that they play almost every team they’re chasing. The Dodgers have seven games remaining with the Cardinals and six left with the Rockies.

The Dodgers are going to have to win the majority of the games left against the Rockies and Dbacks to really make a dent.  Take the Dbacks for instance who are four and a half games ahead of the Dodgers at the moment.  If the Dodgers won five of seven against Arizona then the Dodgers would gain three games on the Dbacks.  If the Dodgers go 4-3 or worse then they would gain just one game at most.

A bittersweet ending for Kershaw and the Dodgers?. dark. Next

The schedule left gives the Dodgers a real road to complete a comeback to win the NL West.  Whether the offense stops slumping or the bullpen has a revival remains to be seen but the Dodgers are still right in the race for the NL West.  It’s going to take a hot stretch to complete the comeback but the Dodgers definitely have the talent on paper to pull it off. Now it’s up to the players to get the job done.

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