Dodgers postseason FAQ: What's next?

October 2nd, 2023

After 162 games, the Dodgers ended up where they have grown accustomed to being: Atop the National League West for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

En route to another division title, the Dodgers won 100 games or more for the third consecutive season. Taking away the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, they became the first organization to win 100 or more games in four consecutive full seasons.

But as successful as the Dodgers were in 2023, they know the tallest task is now ahead of them. They’ll have five days before they take the field in the NLDS and their goal now shifts to winning 11 games in the postseason.

They’ll be looking to avenge a quick exit in 2022 as they try to win a second World Series title in four seasons. 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 week will be focused on the pitching staff. There’s some concern over the starting rotation, but that has been alleviated some over the past few weeks with some improved performance.

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, Miller and Pepiot have also all made their cases for increased roles in October.

Lance Lynn, who finished up his season allowing two runs over six innings against the Giants on Sept. 29, continues to struggle with giving up homers, so it’ll be interesting to see what his role will be heading into the NLDS. Pepiot and Sheehan could get a runway if the club decides they pitched better to close the season.

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.

What will the starting pitching plan look like?

Manager Dave Roberts all but confirmed that the Dodgers will start Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLDS, regardless of the opponent. Bobby Miller appears to be headed for a Game 2 start with Ryan Pepiot and Lynn likely being the top options to start Game 3.

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 in the NL, they’ll now play the winner of the Wild Card Series between the Brewers, who won the NL Central on Sept. 26, and the D-backs, who finished as the No. 6 seed. 

The Brewers and D-backs will start a three-game series in Milwaukee on Tuesday. The winner will then travel to Dodger Stadium for Game 1 of the NLDS on Saturday. 

Los Angeles went 5-1 during the regular season against the Brewers and 8-5 versus the D-backs.

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