Dodgers clinch 10th NL West title in last 11 years: What are L.A.’s postseason expectations?

Dodgers clinch 10th NL West title in last 11 years: What are L.A.’s postseason expectations?
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The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the 2023 National League West title Saturday with their 6-2 win over the Seattle Mariners. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The game was tied 1-1 after 10 innings. In the top of the 11th, the Dodgers scored five runs en route to victory.
  • The division title is L.A.’s 10th in the last 11 seasons. The San Francisco Giants won the division in 2021.
  • The Dodgers’ 90-57 record is the second-best in the NL behind the Atlanta Braves, who clinched their sixth straight NL East crown Wednesday.

The Athletic’s instant analysis:

Significance of L.A. winning another division title

It would be a stretch to say the Dodgers were unlikely to reclaim the NL West this season, but there was enough offseason chatter to sow at least a little more doubt than usual. The San Diego Padres had already toppled the Dodgers in the NL Division Series and even outspent them. The Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants were set to provide intriguing tests. The Dodgers lost some integral pieces in Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney and others while shedding significant payroll.

But despite having an entire starting rotation wiped out at different points this summer and integrating more rookies than even they expected, they clinched once again with weeks to go in the regular season. This isn’t the 111-win juggernaut of a year ago, but they cruised to a division title anyway. — Ardaya

Dodgers postseason expectations

The Dodgers have even more question marks than usual entering October, particularly with their pitching. As Clayton Kershaw put it to The Athletic this week, “Right now, it’s basically Bobby (Miller) and an open tryout to see who can be on the postseason roster from the pitching side.” Kershaw, of course, figures to be a part of it — he tossed four scoreless innings Saturday despite topping out at 89.5 mph.

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But expect plenty of youth and nontraditional pitching usage as the Dodgers try to piecemeal a postseason roster. — Ardaya

Backstory

Los Angeles will look to advance to the World Series for the first time since winning it in 2020. The Dodgers lost the NL Championship Series to the Braves in 2021 and the Division Series to the Padres in 2022, when Los Angeles went an MLB-best 111-51.

The Diamondbacks and Giants remain in a close race for second in the West; Arizona sits in wild-card position with San Francisco 1 1/2 games out.

Required reading

  • Clayton Kershaw looking to ‘prove to myself that I’m still good enough’
  • MLB All-30: We name each team’s most impressive rookie for the 2023 season

(Photo of Clayton Kershaw: Kirby Lee / USA Today)