A Few Things for Dodgers Fans to Keep an Eye On This Week

With their win on Sunday, the Dodgers clinched the best record in the National League, assuring them of home-field advantage through the NLCS, at least.For the most part, the Dodgers are playing just for health and readiness now, with nine games left in the regular season. But there are still a few things on the line as the season draws to a close.Clinching Best Record in BaseballThe Dodgers currently have a 5.5-game lead on the Astros for the best record in baseball. Los Angeles has nine games to play, while Houston has eight.The Dodgers’ magic number to clinch home-field is 4, meaning if L.A. goes 4-5 the rest of the way, there’s nothing Houston can do to catch them. To put into perspective how much the Dodgers are favored here, the Astros’ magic number to clinch best record in baseball is 15.There’s still a theoretical chance the Dodgers and Astros could finish tied for the best record, in which case the tiebreaker would be record within your own division. The Astros are done playing the AL West, finishing 51-25. The Dodgers are currently 49-18 within the NL West, with all nine of their remaining games coming within the division (three in San Diego and then a six-game series against the Rockies to finish the season). If the Dodgers win at least three of those games, they would hold the tiebreaker over Houston.So, to summarize: If the Dodgers win at least four games, they clinch the best record in baseball. If they win exactly three games, they clinch the tiebreaker over the Astros. And if they win just two games the rest of the way, the Astros have to go 7-1 to tie their record and win the tiebreaker.Getting Kimbrel RightWith just nine games left, exiled L.A. closer Craig Kimbrel probably has just four or five appearances left to make his case for a big role in the Dodgers’ postseason bullpen. He pitched a perfect inning on Friday, needing just seven pitches to retire the side. Kimbrel has looked outstanding at times over the past month, but two big home runs allowed to the Diamondbacks have raised questions simply because homers weren’t his problem most of the season.Kimbrel has allowed just three hits and four walks in his last 13 innings, but he has just nine strikeouts in that time and two of the three hits went over the fence. The question over the next nine games is whether Kimbrel can get that under control, or whether he just traded one issue for another.Freddie and Trea Chase 200Freddie Freeman is nine hits away from 200, and Trea Turner is 16 away. Freeman would have to slump pretty strongly to not get to 200, but it could happen. The biggest question is with Turner, who is slumping pretty strongly, going 1-for-12 over the past four games.The most hits Trea has recorded in a nine-game stretch this year is 18 between June 15 and June 26. Turner batted .422 during that stretch, and he’ll need a stretch nearly as hot to get to 200 hits on the year.Freeman, on the other hand, doesn’t need to get hot at all. He has played 150 games this year, which means he’s had 142 nine-game stretches. In 126 of those (88.7%), he’s had at least nine hits.HealthOther than that, the Dodgers are just looking for everyone to remain (or get) healthy. Not much else matters at this point.Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more!

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