Dodgers clinch No. 1 seed for entire postseason

October 1st, 2022

LOS ANGELES -- If the Dodgers play into November, the path to a championship will run through Dodger Stadium.

With the Astros’ 7-3 loss to the Rays and the Dodgers’ 10-1 win over the Rockies on Friday at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles secured the best record in the Majors and home-field advantage throughout the World Series.

The Dodgers improved to 55-21 at Dodger Stadium this season, the best home mark in the National League this season. With the condensed postseason schedule, having home-field could be even more advantageous than usual. For example, there’s no day off between Game 4 and Game 5 of the NL Division Series.

“It’s huge,” said Dodgers left-hander , when asked about securing home-field advantage. “I think the playoffs this season are a little different. If you can be home as much as possible, that’s huge. We love playing here, obviously.”

Though there’s a lot of baseball left before the Dodgers can start thinking of hosting a World Series, the organization has enjoyed a handful of celebrations over the last few weeks. Los Angeles won a ninth NL West title in 10 years on Sept. 14 and clinched a first-round bye in the new postseason format.

Shortly after, the Dodgers clinched home-field advantage through the NL Championship Series. The Dodgers have also set a single-season franchise record in wins with 109 and counting, with five games remaining in the regular season.

The offense had plenty to celebrate on Friday to start a rare six-game series against the Rockies. got the Dodgers on the board early with a two-out RBI double in the second inning. Betts and set the tone atop the lineup, going a combined 4-for-6 with two doubles and two walks.

If the Dodgers are going to make a deep run in the postseason, it’ll likely start with Betts, Freeman, and . But if they want to be even more dangerous, they could use some added production from the bottom of the order, and that’s exactly what they got on Friday.

and have struggled at the plate for the majority of the season. Those struggles have them in a healthy competition for playing time in October with and . But it was Taylor and Bellinger that delivered in big ways against Colorado.

Taylor has had problems with swing and miss, especially lately, but looked more controlled on Friday, going 3-for-4 with three singles. Bellinger finally found some power, hitting a three-run homer in the fourth inning. It was his first homer since Aug. 21.

With Taylor and Bellinger leading the way, the Dodgers scored eight runs in the fourth inning, a season high for runs in a single frame. Los Angeles collected eight hits in that inning, also a season high.

“I think that the process is one thing, but guys still want to get hits,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “As we close out the regular season, they want to feel good about themselves and have that confidence heading into the postseason. Tonight was a good thing. The expectation is to continue to build on that.”

The offensive support was more than enough for Kershaw, who continued his stellar pitching since coming off the injured list. In his last six starts, Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA. Kershaw, along with , is still in the mix to start Game 1 of the NLDS on Oct. 11.

“Tonight was an all-around great ballgame,” Roberts said. “Clayton set the tone, throwing up zeros. And then offensively, we just came alive. … Across the board, just really good.”