Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Lucky 13? D-backs' streak on the line in LA

MLB.com

With the D-backs riding a franchise-record 12 straight wins and the Dodgers mired in a five-game rut, Arizona and Los Angeles will wrap up their season series on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, but it might not be the final time these teams see each other.

If the postseason started Wednesday, the D-backs would host the National League Wild Card Game against the Rockies, while the Dodgers would have home-field advantage against the winner of that game in an NL Division Series.

View Full Game Coverage

With the D-backs riding a franchise-record 12 straight wins and the Dodgers mired in a five-game rut, Arizona and Los Angeles will wrap up their season series on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium, but it might not be the final time these teams see each other.

If the postseason started Wednesday, the D-backs would host the National League Wild Card Game against the Rockies, while the Dodgers would have home-field advantage against the winner of that game in an NL Division Series.

View Full Game Coverage

Taijuan Walker will get the start for the D-backs on Wednesday, with Kenta Maeda making his second straight start against Arizona for the Dodgers. Maeda will be looking for a different result this time around, as the D-backs blasted him for seven runs on eight hits in just three innings on Thursday.

Walker tossed five shutout innings against the Rockies in his last start.

While the D-backs are the ones on a roll, the Dodgers have the opportunity to clinch a postseason berth. It may not seem obvious that the Dodgers (who have 92 wins) can clinch already given that the Cubs (74 wins) and Brewers (72 wins) can still theoretically win 99 and 95 games, respectively. However, the Dodgers can clinch today if they win and BOTH the Cubs and Brewers lose. Here is how:

The Cubs and Brewers still play each other seven more times and someone has to lose those games. Therefore, there is no scenario in which both the Cubs and Brewers can finish tied at 94 wins; the most wins either team can have and not clinch the NL Central is 93. If one team wins out (including winning all seven games against the other), then the other cannot surpass the 93 victories the Dodgers will have if they win today.

Beyond that, here are the other possible scenarios that could prevent the Dodgers from clinching a Postseason berth outright with 93 wins.

-- If the Brewers go 6-1 vs. the Cubs, and otherwise win out, they finish 94-68 and win the NL Central.
-- And if the Cubs go 1-6 vs. the Brewers, and otherwise win out, they finish 93-69.
-- If the Cubs go 2-5 vs. the Brewers, and otherwise win out, they finish 94-68 and win the NL Central.
-- If the Brewers go 5-2 vs. the Cubs, and otherwise win out, they finish 93-69.

In all of these scenarios, the Cubs and Brewers win the rest of their games that aren't against each other, and even in that case the team that didn't win the NL Central would need a tiebreaker game against the Dodgers at 93-69 in that scenario. So if both lose today and the Dodgers win, then it becomes impossible for both teams to get to 93 wins and prevent an outright clinch of a playoff berth by the Dodgers.

Note that St. Louis currently has 67 losses, so they could also win out and finish 95-67. However, that would mean they sweep their remaining games vs. the Cubs (7) and Brewers (3), which would eliminate both of those clubs anyway.

Things to know about this game
• Arizona hasn't trailed in 98 innings, which is tied for the third-longest streak in Major League history.

• Walker's swinging-strike rate of 18.3 percent on Friday vs. the Rockies was his highest in any game over the past two seasons. The right-hander got 15 of his 17 whiffs with his four-seam fastball and curve.

• The Dodgers' top prospect, Walter Buehler, will join the team before the game. Buehler will pitch out of the bullpen over the final few weeks of the regular season.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks