MLB releases 2016 playoff schedule.

The Dodgers will have two days off at the end of the regular season if they clinch a National League wild card berth, and four if they win the NL West, according to a preliminary playoff schedule released Tuesday by Major League Baseball.

The National League wild-card game is Wednesday, October 5, two days after the Dodgers’ regular-season finale in San Francisco. Both NL Division Series will begin Friday, October 7.

MLB Network and Fox Sports 1 have the television rights to the NL Division Series, while TBS has the television rights to the AL Division Series.

The best-of-seven National League Championship Series will begin Saturday, Oct. 15, one day after the AL Championship Series begins. Fox and Fox Sports 1 have the TV rights.

Game 1 of the World Series is set for Oct. 25 in the American League ballpark. It will end no earlier than Oct. 29 (Game 4). Game 7 is on Nov. 2. The entire series will be televised on Fox.

Here’s the full postseason schedule in chart form:
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Free agency begins at 9:01 p.m. Pacific Time Friday. Update.

We’ve known for a while that free agency would begin five days after the World Series ended.

What we couldn’t know until today: the World Series ended after midnight Monday in New York, and Sunday across the non-Eastern portion of the United States and Canada.

So when does free agency begin? Friday, according to an MLB spokesperson who confirmed this small-but-important fact after the game.

Update (10 a.m.): Free agents can officially sign contracts beginning at 9:01 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday.

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A.J. Ellis watched video to prepare to catch Zack Greinke in Game 5.

Zack Greinke

Yasmani Grandal has caught all but six of Zack Greinke’s 33 starts this season, including Game 2 of the National League Division Series. (Associated Press photo)


Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday that both A.J. Ellis and Yasmani Grandal, who has a sore left shoulder, would prepare to catch Game 5 today.

Grandal is in the starting lineup. Did Ellis do anything extra today compared to a typical day he isn’t starting?

“I came in yesterday knowing what was going on with Yas and how he was feeling and made sure I went over to Zack and watched his game, Game 2 against these guys and how he matched up against the Mets throughout the season,” Ellis said.

“But talking to Yas last night and talking to Yas today, he looks great. He feels great, and I’m excited to watch him go out there and compete with Zack (Greinke). They have a great chemistry together. It’s no secret how well they’ve worked, and it’s all about Zack being comfortable. I think Yas has got some big swings in him tonight too.”

Grandal has caught all but six of Greinke’s starts this season. He has one hit and four striekouts in eight at-bats this series. Ellis has been swinging the hotter bat. He has one hit in each of his two starts this series, extending his postseason hitting streak to 12 games.

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Clayton Kershaw out of the bullpen? ‘Even though the moment is huge, what is right?’


We enjoy ribbing Dodgers manager Don Mattingly here for concealing even the most commonplace details of his game-to-game bullpen strategy. (Is Bronson Arroyo available tonight? Who knows?) This time, we get it.

Mattingly wouldn’t say whether or not Clayton Kershaw would be available out of the bullpen for Game 5 of the National League Division Series, two days after Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a season-extending victory in Game 4.

“He’s here,” Mattingly said of Kershaw. “I’m not sure what we’ll do with him.”

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NLDS Game 4: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers force a winner-take-all Game 5.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw smiles after Yoenis Cespedes’ swinging-bunt single to begin the seventh inning Tuesday in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. (Getty Images)

NEW YORK — So much for that Clayton Kershaw playoff curse. The narrative was paused, and the Dodgers’ season was extended, with the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Mets on Tuesday in Game 4 of the NLDS.

The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

Chase Utley‘s appeal of his two-game suspension won’t be heard until Monday. Yasmani Grandal‘s left shoulder is still bothering him. Kershaw and Mets manager Terry Collins go way back.

Colleague Tom Hoffarth checked in with the SportsNet LA broadcast crew, curiously focused while TBS handles television coverage of the NLDS.

Justin Turner has been the Dodgers’ driving force in the series, writes colleague Mark Whicker. Game 5 is going to be special.

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