The San Francisco Giants get an opportunity to play spoiler against the team they'd most enjoy spoiling - the Los Angeles Dodgers - when the longtime rivals close out the regular season with a three-game series that begins Friday night.
The winners of the respective contests will be crowned division champs, while the losers will turn around to play in the Wild Card game the following evening.
"Not how we scripted it", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday's second consecutive loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, which dropped LA into second place.
They hope to do the same for a division title Sunday.
As opposed to Saturday, when they had already showered and headed back to the hotel before the Rockies took the field, the Dodgers will get a chance to do scoreboard-watching on equal terms Sunday.
Giants: Rookie Dereck Rodriguez (6-4, 2.50) faces the Dodgers for the first time. He finished the season with a.247 batting average - the same figure he had in each of the previous three years. Kemp had a two-run double and RBI single among his three hits, while Muncy and Brian Dozier each hit two-run homers. "I know the seven guys behind me will make plays".
The Dodgers clinched baseball's final playoff berth by beating the Giants 10-6 on Saturday and celebrated with champagne in the visiting clubhouse - then all attention turned to winning another division title. That pressure-packed matchup will also include the loser of the Dodgers-Rockies tiebreaker, which starts at 3:09 p.m. Monday. His 2.57 ERA in 21 innings also is accompanied by 22 strikeouts on only five walks. They've lost six of their last seven, including a three-game sweep last week at the hands of the Cardinals, who gained ground on the Dodgers in the process. The Dodgers and Giants each won five games at Dodger Stadium, and have split their first eight games at AT&T Park.
Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are on turn to pitch Games 1 and 2 on regular rest against the Braves. Each team has won nine times.