If everything goes according to plan, Clayton Kershaw should be able to… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )
The Dodgers are set to open the National League playoffs on Thursday, Oct. 3, according to a postseason schedule released Tuesday by Major League Baseball.
That date comes four days after the conclusion of the regular season. The Dodgers thus would have plenty of time to align their starting rotation so Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke could start the first two games of the first round on normal rest.
This assumes, of course, that the Dodgers win the NL West. They lead the Arizona Diamondbacks by 12½ games with 25 to play.
The NL team with the best record opens at home against the winner of the wild-card game, with the division winner with the second-best record playing host to the remaining division winner.
If the playoffs opened today, the Dodgers would start at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates, with the Atlanta Braves awaiting the winner of the wild-card playoff between the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.
The first round of the NL playoffs starts Oct. 3 and extends to Oct. 9, if necessary. The NL championship series starts Oct. 11 and extends to Oct. 19, if necessary.
The World Series starts Oct. 23, in the American League city, and extends through Oct 31, if necessary. If the Dodgers qualify for the World Series -- this year marks the 25th anniversary of their last appearance -- they would play host to games on Saturday, Oct. 26; Sunday, Oct. 27; and Monday, Oct. 28.