LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers are officially National League West champions after beating the Seattle Mariners 6-2 in 11 innings Saturday night. The win sealed the Dodgers' second straight division title and the 10th in the last 11 seasons. This will also be the 11th consecutive year that the Dodgers have clinched a playoff berth.
After Saturday's games, the Dodgers have 15 games remaining in the 2023 season, while the second place Arizona Diamondbacks have just 12 left. The Dodgers' win pushes their division lead to 14 games, sealing the NL West for LA.
The game was scoreless until extra innings. A sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th inning from former Mariner Kolten Wong was the first run of the game. Seattle tied the game in the bottom of the frame, but a five-run rally started by Max Muncy in the top of the 11th inning locked down the win, and the division title, for the Dodgers. Joe Kelly allowed one in the bottom of the 11th before shutting it down.
Prior to the Dodgers' game Saturday, much attention was on Phoenix, as a Diamondback loss could have sealed the Dodgers' title as well. But, the Diamondbacks were able to steal a 7-6 walk-off win against the Chicago Cubs Saturday night.
The 2023 Dodgers season has been nothing if not consistent. The team hasn't yet had a losing month, including a monstrous August, in which the Dodgers went 24-5 and outscored their opponents by 81 runs.
In a season that's been plagued by injuries, particularly to the starting rotation, the Dodgers have been able to hold on thanks to career seasons from outfielder Mookie Betts and first baseman Freddie Freeman, and contributions from young talent in the lineup and on the mound.
- Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin to undergo elbow surgery, out for rest of 2023
- Walker Buehler won't return to Dodgers rotation this season
What does this mean for the Dodgers looking ahead to the postseason? The way the MLB playoffs work in 2023, the top two division winners in each league receive a bye to the Division Series, while the lowest-seeded divisional winner squares off against the lowest-seeded of the three Wild Card teams. The Dodgers appear destined for the second seed, behind the (((UPDATE))) 96-win Atlanta Braves, arguably the only other team in the NL with more MVP hopefuls. As of right now, the Dodgers would square off with the winner of the Cincinnati Reds (currently the NL's third Wild Card team) and the Milwaukee Brewers (the current NL Central leaders). Here's how the playoffs are set to shake out after Saturday's games:
National League Playoff Projections
(As of games through Sept. 16)
Wild Card Series 1: Philadelphia Phillies (4) v Chicago Cubs (5)
Wild Card Series 2: Cincinnati Reds (6) v Milwaukee Brewers (3)
Both NL Wild Card series begin on Oct. 3.
National League Division Series 1: Atlanta Braves (1) v Winner of Phillies/Cubs
National League Division Series 2: Los Angeles Dodgers (2) v Winner of Reds/Brewers
Both Division Series begin on Oct. 7.
The American League Wild Card and Divisional Series are set to start on the same days as the National League series. The Championship rounds kickoff on Oct. 15 for the American League, and Oct.16 for the National League. The 2023 World Series on Oct. 27 on FOX.