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Yasiel Puig Says Dodgers Will Win NL West After Hitting HR to Help Beat Rockies

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 20, 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig celebrates his three-run home run during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies in a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig confidently predicted his team will secure the NL West division title after his clutch three-run homer Wednesday night led the Dodgers to a key 5-2 win over the Colorado Rockies.

"We're going to win the West and go to the playoffs," Puig told reporters after the victory stretched the Dodgers' division lead to 2.5 games over the Rockies with just over a week left in the MLB regular season.

Puig delivered the game-winning blast off Colorado reliever Scott Oberg as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was his 22nd tater of the campaign.

"I didn't try to hit a home run," he said. "I tried to hit the ball in the air, do something to not hit a ground ball."

MLB @MLB

Puig, you’re clutch. #SeptemberBaseball https://t.co/ARytD5fD78

It was a crucial moment in the division race, as the Rockies could have moved to within a half-game of the Dodgers' lead with a win Wednesday.

Instead, Los Angeles increased its chances of winning the NL West to 96.1 percent, per FanGraphs. The Rockies still have a 25.3 percent chance of reaching the postseason, but a vast majority of that number comes from their wild-card chances (21.5 percent).

The enigmatic Puig saw his performance drop following the 2014 season. He's back on the rise over the past two seasons, however, and has posted a .275/.335/.509 triple-slash line with 15 stolen bases in 2018.

His heroics Wednesday decreased the Dodgers' magic number to clinch the division to eight. They play three games apiece against the San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants to close out the regular season.

Winning the NL West would mark the organization's sixth consecutive division crown.

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