Dodgers win but still face long odds.

The Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals both won Sunday. The wild-card scenarios are fairly straightforward for the two teams entering their final series of the season (the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants, the Cardinals visit the Cincinnati Reds).

There are 16 possible outcomes, and the Cardinals make the playoffs in 13 of them. In two, the two teams finish the regular season with identical records and the Dodgers will host Game 163 next Thursday, with the winner traveling to Atlanta for the wild-card game. Only if the Dodgers and Reds both sweep can the Dodgers clinch a playoff berth on the final day of the regular season.

The bottom line: The Dodgers must win at least two of their final three games to even have a chance, and the Cardinals cannot win more than one of three.

The earliest the Dodgers can be eliminated is Tuesday, and they cannot clinch before Wednesday.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.