There is no need to tell the Los Angeles Dodgers’ clubhouse how important the upcoming series is. Following their 3-2 win against the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, the National League West division champions matched the New York Mets with a record of 89-70.
The two teams will face off in the first round of the playoffs. However the question still remains, who will have home-field advantage? With the Mets holding a tiebreaker over the Dodgers, as of Friday the clubs will meet in New York for the first two games of the NL Division Series.
That could change should the Dodgers gain just one-half game on the Mets. According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is aware of the difficulty in starting the series away from Chavez Ravine:
Obviously, you hope to get that home-field advantage,” catcher Yasmani Grandal said. “You don’t want to go to New York more than once. Hopefully, we can sweep the Padres and give ourselves a chance to get that home-field advantage.”
The San Diego Padres are visiting this weekend for the final three games of the season. While the Dodgers have beaten their divisional opponent 11 out of 16 games this year, there will be an obvious added intensity in the following games says Brett Anderson, via ESPN’s Mark Saxon:
These aren’t just games to play,” pitcher Brett Anderson said. “We want to get home-field advantage.”
Anderson may have earned himself a spot as the No. 3 starter in the NLDS thanks to his excellent game Thursday afternoon. After struggling mightily in his previous two games, Anderson pitched one of his best games of the year and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Meanwhile the Dodgers hope to be in a position this weekend where they could use Kenley Jansen to close out games in the ninth inning. The right-hander hasn’t pitched many innings as of late, appearing in only five of the last 14 games. According to Dylan Hernandez, Jansen echoed his teammates’ response when discussing the final games of the season:
We’re trying to get that home-field advantage,” Jansen said. “We still have something to do.”
With a record of 52-26 at home this season the Dodgers would appear to have the advantage should the series start in Los Angeles. Of course they had home-field advantage in the NLDS last year against the St. Louis Cardinals and were eliminated in four games.