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The Dodgers have their biggest NL West lead of 2018 after sweeping the Rockies

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Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Earlier this month, we covered the possibility that just one of the Dodgers, Rockies, or Diamondbacks would make it out of the NL West and into the postseason. The Rockies were in first place then, half-a-game up on the Dodgers, who were a game up on the D-Backs. Now, just over two weeks later, we see a much different picture.

The Dodgers just swept the Rockies in a three-game series, giving them a 2.5 game lead, their largest of the 2018 season. The Diamondbacks aren’t eliminated, not yet, but their elimination number is now just four thanks to being six games back of the Dodgers. Maybe most importantly, the Rockies also sit 1.5 out of the second wild card, and the D-Backs five back: it’s looking more and more likely that the NL West will have just the one representative this October, instead of last postseason’s three.

Now, nothing is settled, and the Rockies do have 10 games left. Here’s your standard “anything can happen in 10 games” caveat, and here’s the situation still in front of Colorado: they’ve got three against the D-Backs, four against the Phillies — who are also clinging to life in the wild card race like Arizona — and then close the season against the Nationals. On the surface, the Rockies have 10 games left against teams that are spiraling or have spiraled. Dig a little deeper, and you remember this is baseball, and all three teams have the talent to spoil 2018 for Colorado.

Then again, the Dodgers have the Padres, D-Backs, and Giants the rest of the way, so... congratulations to the Dodgers on their sixth NL West division title in a row.

I’m kidding, mostly, but yeah, things are not looking great for the Rockies with just 10 to play and a 2.5-game deficit. There would be more reason for confidence if their schedule was a little easier, if they weren’t already playing way over their heads according to their run differential — the Rockies have been outscored on the season and have an expected record of 75-77 — and if they weren’t already down. Their playoff odds have them at just a 10.2 percent chance of winning the NL West, and just under 19 percent shot at a wild card.

Now, if the Rockies rattle off a bunch of wins in a row and the Dodgers and Cardinals falter a bit, then, yes, those numbers will drastically shift to be more positive for Colorado. It’s not hyperbole to say they just wasted their best shot at securing the West, though, by losing three in a row to Los Angeles. If the Rockies do make it, it’s going to take a thrilling ride the rest of the way to get there.