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Dodgers Enter Regular Season Finale with Eyes on Division Title, Game 163 vs Giants

The Dodgers have played in 161 games this year, but they all pale in comparison to what Sunday holds in store. 



October 3rd marks the end of the 2021 regular season, the day on which every team will play their final game before the postseason kicks off. By this point, most games are mere formalities, their results not holding any weight in the final standings. But for a Dodgers squad that has been hotter than any team in baseball over the final two months of the season, game 162 means more than all others combined.

No one expected the Giants to have the best record in baseball this year, yet here we are. Heading into Sunday, San Francisco controls their own destiny by virtue of holding a one-game lead over Los Angeles with only one game to play. If the Giants find a way to beat the Padres today, nothing else matters. San Francisco will secure a spot in the division series while the Dodgers will make history for being the winningest team in MLB history to be a Wild Card participant.

Let’s just speculate for a moment, however, and assume that the Padres find a way to beat the Giants while the Dodgers take care of business against Milwaukee. What happens then? With both teams ending their seasons with the same record, a tie-breaker would be needed in order to crown a division champion.

Both teams are already in the postseason picture, but there is an enormous difference between being the top seed in all of baseball and potentially being sent home in a one-game Wild Card matchup.

A tie-breaking game would be hosted by the Giants on Monday, thanks to San Francisco winning the season series against LA this year.

Related: Dave Roberts Believes His Team Is Playing Their Best Baseball Right Now

Fans have rightfully been invested in this divisional race all season long, but players and coaches alike have been paying just as much attention to all of these potential outcomes. At the end of the day, however, the Dodgers will need to take care of their own business for any of this to even matter. You don’t have to tell them that either, as Dave Roberts acknowledged that his team was ready for the task at hand.

“The only focus for us is to win tomorrow,” said Dave Roberts following the Dodgers win Saturday evening. “That’s all we can control. There doesn’t need to be a message to the ballclub, they know what’s at stake and they know that our only goal is to win a ballgame tomorrow.

The same sentiment was echoed by third baseman, Justin Turner, who hit a critical three-run home run in the first inning on Saturday to catapult the Dodgers into yet another victory.

Whatever it says on the scoreboard [tomorrow] doesn’t affect what we have to do.. bottom line is we have to take care of our business and go out and win a ballgame, and that’s all that matters.

This is a team that is focused, hungry, and eager to reclaim its place atop the National League West.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to one of baseball’s smartest moves in recent memory, Sunday’s season finale will feature a full slate of games, all starting within 15 minutes of each other. This creates some added drama, as teams will not be able to manipulate their game plan based on how other teams fare. Instead, every team still fighting for a postseason spot will need to play to win, including the Dodgers.

Their postseason ticket has been punched for quite some time. There is no doubt that this will be one of the most dangerous teams in October, regardless of seeding. But for a team that currently holds baseball’s second-best record, just making the postseason isn’t enough. They want another division title, and they enter the final day of the season with a fighting chance to make that happen.

NEXT: What Is the Most Ideal Lineup for the Dodgers in the Playoffs?

Written by Daniel Palma

Daniel is an avid sports fan who loves his hometown teams. If he's not watching baseball, you can find him playing or coaching. No matter what, he'll always root for the Boys in Blue!

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  1. Whether the Giants win or lose this afternoon, the NL West is theirs IF the Dodgers lose today. So, all the Dodgers can do is do what the Dodgers can do which is to sweep the Brewers. Simultaneously, I will hope, and stranger things have been known to happen, that the Padres will play the Giants hard to: win the series, recapture some team pride, and force a game #163. Until its impossible, I will continue to believe that the Dodgers have a chance to take the NL West by beating the Giants in a game #163. So, for game #162: Let’s Go Dodgers (!!!) and…yes…Go Padres!!!

    • Well, our Dodgers did what they needed to do and absolutely swept the Brewers. But alas, the Giants, including their pitcher, had their Wheaties this morning and San Diego completely rolled over. The Giants have won the 2021 NL West Division and won it by 1 game…but there is no point in digressing because it is what it is. Now on to Wild Card game…the silver linings (yes, there are a few) are that we: a.) definitely have the momentum to do this and b.) have Scherzer on the mound and c.) can ultimately win the World Series, despite losing the Division, by way of the WC (just like the Giants did twice). LET’S GO DODGERS!!!

  2. Being a lifelong Dodgers fan, October 3rd has not been great for the Dodgers Giants rivalry for Dodgers fans– Bobby Thomson home run- October 3, 1951– losing in the ninth inning with a two run lead on October 3, 1962 two pennant losing games. Although this is not for the pennant, and we’re not playing head to head but maybe it’s our turn!

  3. Too many comments to read…we all have our opinions. MINE? The Dodger players did what was asked and beyond. Sure…individually they all had their ups and downs, but this is NORMAL.
    What is NOT normal is how Roberts attempted to manage the team. With a ‘new strategy’ for each and every game along with a changed lineup card with every game. He has done this since becoming the manager of this exceptional group of players. His clueless managing is the sole reason that they did NOT take the division. The Giants have to be the luckiest team that baseball has ever seen. The Dodgers WILL PROVE THIS when they play at the end of the week. It will be a big mess for the Giant fans to swallow. The Dodgers will still go to the WS this year.

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