First things first: If you're one of those people who takes things far too seriously and gets angry easily on social media, show yourself out. We're only interested in people who like to laugh moving forward.
I'm pausing while those far-too-serious folks show themselves out.
OK, I think we're good now.
Hear me out!
The Dodgers are in no danger whatsoever of losing the top seed. Not only did they enter Sunday with a six-game lead over the Braves for that spot, but the other division winners (Braves and Cubs) are highly flawed and struggling to play .500 ball for weeks at a time. I don't care about the odds or simulations or anything, I'm pretty confident in saying there's a 100 percent chance the Dodgers end up as the No. 1 seed in the expanded 16-team playoffs. That means it doesn't matter if they essentially throw their remaining five games with the Rockies.
Let's keep in mind the situation the Dodgers are in. They've won the NL West seven times in a row, a span that includes two pennants and four trips to the NLCS. Oh, and it includes zero World Series rings. It's a weird and short season, but a 2020 ring still counts. The 1981 season was weird and short and the Dodgers have a flag flying forever for the 1981 World Series title.
Let's also keep in mind the first round this season is a three-game series. Anything can happen in a series like that. Last year, the Orioles took two of three from the Yankees in April. The Yankees won 103 games. The Orioles lost 108. Knowing that anything in the world can happen, the Dodgers need to take matters into their own hands and ensure the best possible first-round opponent.
Here's a look at the eight-seed "standings" entering Sunday:
8. Rockies - 19-20 (.487)
9. Giants - 19-21 (.475), 0.5 GB
10. Brewers - 18-20 (.474), 0.5 GB
11. Mets - 18-22 (.450), 1.5 GB
12. Reds - 18-22 (.450), 1.5 GB
The Dodgers only play teams in the West, so it's scoreboard watching when it comes to other eight-seed candidates like the Marlins, Mets, Brewers, Reds and Phillies. I don't think they should be much worried about the Marlins or Brewers. With the Phillies, you're dealing with an explosive offense and Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler. That's potentially a problem. Look back at the Nationals last year for reference. The Reds could run out a rotation of Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo. That's really more a headache than a one should want to deal with in an eight. The Mets? There's Jacob deGrom and the possibility of being down to an elimination game in Game 2. Again, no reason for that kind of discomfort.
The Giants probably don't pose much of a problem, but the Dodgers are done playing them this year.
The Rockies also likely don't pose much of a threat to L.A.. They are surely more comfortable an opponent -- especially since it would be in Dodger Stadium and not Coors Field, where all bets are off -- than the Reds, Phillies or Mets. The Dodgers play Colorado on Sunday night and also have a four-game series in Coors Field late next week.
Throw 'em. All five. Well, maybe. Watch the standings and react. Try to control the Rockies getting the eighth seed. That's where the Rockies are right now. The Dodgers are good enough to control their own destiny and keep them there.
No, this isn't going to happen. Nothing like this will happen. I just wanted to have a little fun while also seriously pointing out the Dodgers best interests in the first round would be to avoid teams like the Reds, Phillies and Mets. We've already seen them lose in every which way possible in the postseason for a better part of the past decade. They are by far baseball's best team right now and are facing the postseason with the most possible landmines we've ever seen.