by Amanda Dronzek
Following a World Series championship in 2020, Manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers put together an unstoppable defensive and offensive team for 2021. On the heels of the defending champions lie the San Francisco Giants, with three World Series rings since 2010. California has a rivalry on their hands as the two fiercest ball clubs in Major League Baseball race for the division pennant in game 162.
The Dodgers and Giants have won over 100 games thus far, with nearly identical regular season records. If the regular season closes in a tie, San Francisco would host the men in blue for a play in game. In 19 head to head games this season the Giants have the upperhand, with a higher cumulative record versus LA (10-9). The victor of this play in game would advance to the National League Division Series, a 5 game race for a spot in the 7 game National League Championship Series. The less fortunate team would host the National League Wild Card game, their postseason fate determined in just 9 innings.
Despite numerous injuries throughout the regular season, the Dodgers’ elite group of All-Stars have reached their third 100 win season in the past five years. Becoming the NL West champions would secure their ninth consecutive title, and place the feared Dodgers against the Wild Card winner for a second chance at a World Series in the past two years. San Francisco is reaching for their fourth championship in the past decade. Both organizations have worked tirelessly to prepare for October baseball, but only one can advance past the NLDS.
This Sunday night, the best teams in baseball will play their final games and reveal the division champions of the NL West, while the second place club will gear up for the Wild Card game and their chance at a postseason slot.