With the Los Angeles Dodgers’ magic number at three and the San Francisco Giants in town for three games, they could potentially clinch their second straight National League West title.
After being down 9.5 games earlier in the season, the Dodgers have done all they could to secure a guaranteed spot in the NLDS. They have had a number of players elevate their game in recent weeks to separate themselves from the Giants and set themselves up for at least a first-round home series.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Dodger outfielder Matt Kemp wants more than just a division crown:
I want to win out,” he said. “I want to have the best record in the National League. That would say something about our team. The home-field advantage is important.”
The Dodgers currently sit three games behind the Washington Nationals in the loss column for best record in the NL and two games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals for the third spot. Last season, the Dodgers went into the postseason with the third-best record and did not have home-field advantage in the NLDS or NLCS. They went 4-1 at home in 2013, clinching the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium.
This season the Dodgers have been the best team in baseball on the road, going 49-32 as opposed to just 40-35 at home. In the postseason, home-field advantage is valued because of the comfortability in a home park and the added boost from the crowd.
While the Dodgers finish the year with the Giants and Colorado Rockies at home, the Nationals finish with the New York Mets and Miami Marlins at home. If they happen to end the season in a tie, the Nationals hold the tiebreaker over the Dodgers due to the season series.
The last week of the season should see the Dodgers clinch their NL West title and potentially the best record in the league.