Dodgers postseason FAQ: What's next?

September 28th, 2023

After a relatively quiet winter, most people on the outside wondered if the Dodgers were getting ready to loosen the tight grip they’ve had over the National League West for more than a decade.

Six months later, the answer was an emphatic “no” as the Dodgers looked as dominant as ever, wrapping up their 10th NL West crown in 11 seasons with a 6-2 win over the Mariners in 11 innings on Sept. 16 at T-Mobile Park.

They used 20 players to do it, which manager Dave Roberts said is fitting considering the makeup of his deep and talented roster.

“There’s a handful of guys that have never had a chance to celebrate a division championship at this level,” Roberts said in the champagne-soaked visitors' clubhouse after the victory. “And we’ve got a lot of guys that came over at the Trade Deadline and some veteran players that we signed early that hadn’t experienced the postseason in some time.

“So this is what the city of Los Angeles is: a melting pot. And this team, this year, aligns with the city of Los Angeles itself.”

Now that the Dodgers have secured a spot in the postseason, the real fun begins. They’ll be looking to have a lot more success than they did in 2022, when they lost to the Padres in the NLDS in four games, a sour ending to a season that witnessed a franchise-record 111 wins.

Three years after winning the World Series in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Dodgers are ready to do it again. But with a few games left until the start of their postseason run, let’s take a look at what’s next for the Dodgers.

What could the postseason roster look like?

C: Will Smith, Austin Barnes
1B: Freddie Freeman
2B: Mookie Betts
SS: Miguel Rojas
3B: Max Muncy
LF: David Peralta
CF: James Outman
RF: Jason Heyward
DH: J.D. Martinez
Bench: UTIL Kiké Hernández, INF Amed Rosario, UTIL Chris Taylor
SP: Clayton Kershaw, Lance Lynn, Ryan Pepiot, Bobby Miller 
RP: Evan Phillips, Brusdar Graterol, Ryan Brasier, Caleb Ferguson, Joe Kelly, Shelby Miller, Alex Vesia, Ryan Yarbrough, Emmet Sheehan

What will be some of the toughest roster decisions?

Everything the Dodgers work through over the next three weeks will be focused on the pitching staff. There’s some concern over the starting rotation, but that has been alleviated some over the past week and a half.

Clayton Kershaw, who struggled to start September, has bounced back nicely despite not being 100 percent from a left shoulder injury that sidelined him for over a month earlier in the season. Rookies Emmet Sheehan, Bobby Miller and Ryan Pepiot have also all made their cases for increased roles in October. 

Lance Lynn continues to struggle with giving up homers, so it’ll be interesting to see what his role will be heading into the NLDS. Deciding how they will line things up in the rotation won’t be a perfect science. Deciding how they map out 27 outs will also be tough, but it’s something the Dodgers believe they can do in order to get 11 wins in October.

Who will have home-field advantage?

The opponent with the best regular-season record (by win percentage) will have home-field advantage in every round through the World Series.

Following a Braves win over the Cubs on Sept. 27, the Dodgers are officially locked in as the No. 2 seed in the National League postseason. The Dodgers will have home-field advantage in the NLDS.

Who are the potential opponents for the NL Division Series?

With the Dodgers locked in as the No. 2 seed, they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Brewers, who won the NL Central on Sept. 26, and the No. 6 seed, which is still undecided. As of now, the Marlins and Cubs are tied for the last spot in the postseason, with the Reds remaining a longshot. 

The Dodgers went 5-1 during the regular season against the Brewers. Los Angeles went 4-3 against Chicago, 3-3 against Miami and 2-4 versus Cincinnati.

What is the remaining schedule?

The Dodgers wrap up the regular season with a four-game set against the Rockies in Colorado and a three-game set against the Giants at Oracle Park.

What is the Dodgers’ recent postseason history?
2018 -- Lost 4-1 to Red Sox in World Series
2019 -- Lost 3-2 to Nationals in NLDS
2020 -- Beat the Rays 4-2 to win first World Series since 1988
2021 -- Lost 4-2 to Braves in NLCS
2022 – Lost 3-1 to Padres in NLDS