How Dodgers could get ultimate home-field advantage even as wild card

·2 min read
Dodgers catcher Will Smith (16) greets Mookie Betts (50) at the plate as he scores from first base
Dodgers catcher Will Smith greets Mookie Betts at the plate during a game against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 31 at Dodger Stadium. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The final two weeks of baseball’s regular season are upon us, with the Dodgers trailing the San Francisco Giants by one game in the National League West. The division title is up for grabs, and with it home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

The Giants (97-53) and Dodgers (96-54) boast the best records in Major League Baseball, but the team that finishes second in the NL West will be a wild-card team. If that team is the Dodgers, the NL wild-card game — the first game of the NL playoffs — would take place at Dodger Stadium on Oct. 6.

That would be the only time in the NL playoffs the Dodgers would have home-field advantage. If the Dodgers won, they would advance to the division series, where a wild-card team is not permitted to have home-field advantage. No matter: The Giants would have a better record.

If the Dodgers won the division series, they would advance to the league championship series, where a wild-card team is not permitted to have home-field advantage. The Dodgers almost certainly would have a better record than the Milwaukee Brewers (91-58) or whatever team emerges from the mediocrity that is the NL East, but no matter: no home field for a wild card.

Until the World Series, that is.

In the World Series, the team with the best record gets home-field advantage.

The Tampa Bay Rays (92-58) have the best record in the American League but, barring a late surge from Tampa Bay, the wild-card Dodgers would get home-field advantage in the World Series against any AL team.

If the Dodgers beat the Giants in the NL West, they would get home-field advantage throughout the postseason. But, even if they don’t, they would get home-field advantage in the World Series — if they get there.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.