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Dodgers Will Provide Themselves Luxury With Early Clinch

Los Angeles will get the opportunity to experiment

Currently, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the baseball equivalent of ‘sitting pretty’. Especially in the NL, where their 85-44 record has them ahead of the next closest competitor (Atlanta) by eight games in the standings.

While the NL West race is all but over – the Dodgers have to finish to clinch home-field throughout October. Indeed, meaningful clinches will begin to

Dodgers
Rich Hill Could make a triumphant run at a postseason roster spot after the Dodgers clinch.

happen for the Dodgers; and soon. As Pedro Moura writes over at The Athletic MLB – an early clinch means the Dodgers can experiment and perform an audition of their roster for October.

First, the Dodgers are not hanging the pennant before it’s hung. Furthermore, Clayton Kershaw said that every game matters because every win is crucial at this juncture.

“We have a bigger goal going, to be the last team standing,” he said. “Every win leading up to that is just practice to get better for that.”

Moreover, with each win; the Dodgers are closer to clinching something as mentioned before. Then, they can begin to adjust the roster and put guys in audition type spots that could serve as a role down the line in October. For instance, the possibility of Rich Hill becoming a starter in the postseason is still being considered.

Consider that in a year like 2018 where the Dodgers needed every game, including a game 163 to clinch the division. At that time, that group was in no position to experiment with starters. There was less resting players, and more riding the best group to win every game.

At the current time, the Dodgers are playing their way into having options. Options such as seeing what young players like Dustin May can do in different situations. In fact, Dave Roberts used the word when discussing the situation with Moura.

“When you have a person of Dustin’s head, mindset, it makes it a better bet for us to make and especially when you have the buy-in of the player,” Roberts said. “It’s a work in progress. I think the next time it happens he’ll feel a little more comfortable. We’re going to continue to keep our options open.”

Finally, the Dodgers have known all year long that the end goal was a World Series title. Their play during the regular season is setting them up for a final dress rehearsal before the wedding takes place.

What kind of things would you like to see the Dodgers do prior to the playoffs once they clinch to prepare for October? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

6 Comments

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  1. I’d like to see the Dodgers use Joe Kelly in a few more close situations before October. And if they’re planning on using the whole pitching staff in bullpen save situations in October it’d be nice to see someone like Buehler, Ryu or Kershaw come in and get 1 or 2 outs to close a game.. this weekend might be a good test for something like that

  2. I would mostly like to see them use Kelly in some high leverage save situations instead of Kenley, that way if Kelly needs to work anything before postseason he has time to do so, also i would like them to use Kenta in the pen ahead of time, i do understand because of his contract they may not do so.

  3. Agree !!! Use Kelly more often the guy can be very good in a closer situation, he is showing good poise right now and will only get better if used correctly. Kenta does very well in relief, and we have a few new suitors, give a try ,we gave Kenley enough.If we have to I agree again bring in a starter to close.

  4. Just once in the late innings I would like to see Doc, forget the analytics and let a pitcher stay in if he is doing exceptionally well. Like striking out three batters in a row.

  5. YankeeYankee series a low point..too many Ks
    Need to see Cody get back in hitting grove
    A
    And bullpen needs improvement..maybe use Kelly more
    Short series needs strong bullpen and we do not have yet

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