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How the Giants can spoil the Dodgers’ year

This is the most important series of the year.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants may have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs last week, but they’ll still be playing for something over these last few games: spite. The Giants have an opportunity to keep the Dodgers out of the playoffs entirely (assuming some other teams don’t fall into an open manhole). If the Giants manage to spoil the Dodgers’ season, will there be a collector’s blu-ray sets to commemorate this series available for purchase next season? No. But there also won’t be a collector’s blu-ray sets to commemorate the Dodgers’ World Series championship, and that’s just as good.

To ruin the Dodgers’ season, the Giants will need some help from two other teams: the Rockies and Cardinals.

The Rockies have one more game against the Phillies this afternoon and a three-game series against the Nationals. The Nationals still have a talented roster and they’ve been playing well in September even if they have nothing left to play for. The Phillies, not so much.

The Cardinals will play the Cubs in Wrigley this weekend which is about the worst possible matchup they could have had, but according to Cubs Twitter, the Cubes are limping to the finish line.

Let’s look at the possible scenarios this weekend.

If the Giants Sweep

It would be impossible for the Dodgers to win the NL West outright. The Rockies would have to win just one of their remaining four games to win the division. Even if they lost them all, the Dodgers and Rockies would play a winner-take-all game 163 for the NL West. That would only partially sate my spite, but it would appeal to my general baseball fandom because winner-take-all games are rad as hell.

The Cardinals would have to win two out of three for the Dodgers to miss the postseason entirely. If they win just one out of three, the Dodgers and Cardinals would play a one-game playoff to get into the Wild Card. That would also be fun and dramatically reduce the Dodgers’ chances of winning a championship for the first time since I was born.

If the Rockies lose out AND the Cardinals win just one, then we would get a tiebreaker that needed two full paragraphs to explain. In other words: chaos.

Essentially, the Rockies and Dodgers would play a game 163 for the NL West, and the loser would play a tiebreaker game against the Cardinals to see who got the second Wild Card spot. This would be the best outcome, and it’s what we should all hope for.

If the Giants win two

The Rockies would need to win two of their remaining games to win the division outright. If they only win one of their games, the Dodgers and Rockies would go into sudden death for the NL West. If the Rockies lose all four, the Dodgers would win the division.

The Cardinals would need to sweep the Cubs to keep the Dodgers out of the playoffs. They could also win two out of three to force a one-game playoff to get to the Wild Card.

If the Cardinals win two out of three AND the Rockies only win one, then we get the chaos scenario in which the Dodgers could possibly play three single-elimination games to get into the actual playoffs.

If the Giants win one

The Rockies would need to win three out of their remaining four to keep the NL West crown from the Dodgers. If they win two, they’ll play game 163.

The best the Cardinals could do is sweep, and that would only get them to a playoff game for the Wild Card.

If the Cardinals sweep and the Rockies win two out of four, we still get chaos.

If the Giants get swept

The Rockies would have to win their last four games to avoid game 163. If they only win two out of four, the Dodgers would take the NL West crown.

It wouldn’t matter what the Cardinals do in this situation, and there is no possibility for more chaos than one lousy playoff game between the Rockies and Dodgers for the division title.

I have concluded that the Giants should not get swept.

The Giants just need to win one stinking game to dramatically tank the Dodgers’ playoff chances. If you’ve been watching this team play baseball games over the last few months, you may be thinking that one game is a mighty tall order, but remember:

Please don’t screw this up, Giants.