The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched home-field advantage through the NLCS with a win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. At this point, it is essentially a formality that the Dodgers will have home-field advantage through the World Series, with a 5.5-game lead over Houston with nine games left to play.
Dodger Stadium has one of the best home-field advantages in the sport, so securing that advantage throughout the playoffs is huge for the team. Just ask Freddie Freeman.
Hopefully, this home-field advantage can spark certain players on the team to play better than they have in the postseason. For some players, playing well in October is not just for the sake of the team, but for their potential future in LA as well.
Without a strong postseason, these three Dodgers might be on a one-way track to no longer being on the team beyond 2022.
…And no, Craig Kimbrel is not on this list. He will be off the team regardless of what happens, especially after losing the closer role.
3 Dodgers who need a strong postseason to stay in LA past 2022
3. Chris Martin
Chris Martin has been really, really good since the Dodgers traded for him at the deadline. This is another example of the team finding a diamond in the rough, as Martin’s struggles in Chicago before the deadline were an illusion. Martin has one of the best FIPs in the sport and has posted an insane 0.500 WHIP in 22 appearances with the team.
All that being said, it does not matter if Martin pitches well in the regular season if he cannot back that up in the postseason. Based on how he is pitching, Martin is going to be put into some high-leverage spots for the team in October. Heck, he might even be the team’s go-to closer option.
But if Martin comes out and stinks up the place circa Ryan Madson in 2018, then the Dodgers are going to be cautious in re-signing him. It is not like he is a spring chicken, and if you don’t think someone can pitch well in October, why would you re-sign them?
Odds are Martin will pitch well and will earn another deal to stay in Los Angeles.