Ahh, Dodgers, look behind you! The Padres and Giants are comi–ah, no, wait, that’s just a mirage. A mirage from 2021. Oops.
Heading into play on Sept. 8, the Dodgers essentially have the NL West locked up and will be awaiting an opponent at Dodger Stadium for the NLDS when the regular season concludes. Up 19 games on the second-place Padres, all that’s left for LA is messing around to see if they can somehow set a regular-season wins record.
As expected, the Dodgers’ FanGraphs odds for postseason play are laughably skewed; with a reported 100% chance of clinching a playoff berth, the West, and a first-round bye, there’s very little that’ll be left up to chance during the season’s final weeks. More importantly, the team’s World Series odds sit at a robust 17.5%, edging the Mets (15.1%) and Braves (14.5%) for the best shot in baseball.
If you believe the prognosticators, the team’s likely NLCS opponents will be either Steve Cohen’s wannabe Dodgers or the NL East behemoths playing at a 112-win pace in recent months looking to repeat. That sailing won’t be quite as smooth.
Dodgers’ Magic Number in 2022 NL West playoff race
The Dodgers’ Magic Number, entering play on Thursday, is all the way down to six. They could deliver themselves another NL West title, rebounding from a Giants-related setback in 2021, if they sweep the Padres in San Diego this weekend.
Think that sounds appealing?
The greatest news of Wednesday’s game was the Clayton Kershaw renaissance, but getting that number down to a sweepable range before the Pads series was pretty sweet, too.
If the Dodgers can take care of business against the team they own nearly as much as the Yankees own the Twins, they just might get to set off their first celebration of 2022 on the hallowed road ground they hate the most.