The Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers are battling for the NL West division title and the automatic berth in the 2018 MLB playoffs that comes with it.

Who has the edge as we head down the final stretch of the season?

The Heat Index takes a look at the NL West race.

MLB PLAYOFF PICTURE: Diamondbacks, Rockies, Dodgers locked in battle

NL West standings

Entering games on Aug. 22, the Diamondbacks, at 70-56, have a 1.5 game lead on the Rockies in the division.

Colorado is 68-57 on the season.

The Dodgers are 3.5 games behind Arizona, at 67-60.

Wild Card race

Winning the NL West isn’t the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Dodgers’ only hope at the postseason.

The top two teams in the National League that don’t win their division get to play in a one-game Wild Card playoff game for the right to advance to the National League Divisional Series.

The St. Louis Cardinals (70-57) and Milwaukee Brewers (70-58) would have those playoff spots through Tuesday’s games, but Colorado is just a half-game out of a berth (along with the Philadelphia Phillies, who are also 68-57).

The Dodgers are 2.5 games out.

MLB PLAYOFF ODDS: Where Diamondbacks stand among postseason contenders

Comparing schedules

Arizona Diamondbacks:

The Diamondbacks may hold the lead in their division, but they have the toughest remaining schedule of the three NL West contenders.

After facing the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, Arizona has series against the Seattle Mariners (home), the San Francisco Giants (away), the Dodgers (away and home), the San Diego Padres (home and away), the Atlanta Braves (home), the Rockies (away and home), the Houston Astros (away) and the Chicago Cubs (home).

Only the Giants and Padres have a losing record. Their remaining opponents have a combined record of 536-473 entering Wednesday for a combined winning percentage of .531.

Colorado Rockies:

The Rockies schedule is a bit easier.

After finishing up a series with the Padres on Wednesday and Thursday, Colorado has will play the Cardinals (home), the Los Angeles Angels (away), the Padres (away), the Giants (home and away), the Dodgers (home and away), the Diamondbacks (home and away), the Philadelphia Phillies (home) and the Washington Nationals (home).

The Angels. Padres, Giants and Nationals don’t have winning records. Their remaining opponents have a combined record of 513-500 for a combined winning percentage of .506.

Los Angeles Dodgers:

The Dodgers have the easiest set of games to end the season. 

After finishing up a series with the Cardinals, Los Angeles will play the Padres (2 series at home), the Texas Rangers (away), the Diamondbacks (home and away), the New York Mets (home), the Rockies (away and home), the Cincinnati Reds (away), Cardinals (away) and Giants (away).

The Giants, Padres, Rangers, Mets and Reds all have losing records. The remaining opponents have a combined record of 487-525 and a combined winning percentage of .481.

MORE: 2018 Arizona Diamondbacks vs. former D-Backs in MLB: Who wins?

Head to head

The division race could easily come down to which team fares the best in head-to-head matchups.

Key series:

  • Diamondbacks at Dodgers, Aug. 30-Sept. 2
  • Dodgers at Rockies, Sept. 7-9
  • Diamondbacks at Rockies, Sept. 10-13
  • Rockies at Dodgers, Sept. 17-19
  • Rockies at Diamondbacks, Sept. 21-23
  • Dodgers at Diamondbacks, Sept. 24-26


Nick Piecoro and Mark Faller discuss the Diamondbacks’ not-so-thrilling road trip in our Shot Clock video.
Diana Payan, The Republic |