Winning their first World Series in franchise history isn't the only postseason incentive for the San Diego Padres this year. The more games they win now, the sooner Fernando Tatis Jr. can come back in 2023.
When Tatis received an 80-game suspension in August for violating MLB's PED policy, those games included playoff contests as well. In other words, every game that San Diego plays in October is one fewer game that Tatis has to miss next season.
The Padres have already played three games this postseason after taking down the New York Mets in the Wild Card round, and now they'll play at least three more in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That's already moved up Tatis' return date from early May to late April.
Obviously, San Diego would prefer to have its star shortstop playing now rather than in April, but it's not a terrible consolation prize. The Padres already won 89 regular-season games without him in 2022, so they should be able to win even more next year with a full season of him and August trade pickup Juan Soto.
For now, though, San Diego is focused on trying to get past Los Angeles. The Padres are currently +182 underdogs to win the series on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.