Can The Dodgers Take Advantage Of Their Soft Second Half Schedule?


Now that we have reached the traditional all-star break, we can take a look ahead at the Dodger’s upcoming second half schedule. The Dodgers enter the all-star break with a 47-47 record, they are 2.5 games back of Arizona in second place in the NL west. The Dodgers are coming into the all-star break as one of the red-hottest teams in all of Baseball. Thanks to the hot hitting of Rookie sensation Yasiel Puig, shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and some great pitching the Dodgers have won 17 of their last 22 games. This includes a stretch where they won 10 out of 12, with two winning streaks of 6 games, and 5 games respectively.

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (17) is congratulated by shortstop Hanley Ramirez (13) for scoring during the third inning against the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodger’s first half schedule was very home heavy, but eventually got a bit grueling. The Dodgers had a very flexible April and May with eight scheduled off days but had just two in June. The Dodgers have had just one day off since June 18, so I am sure the Dodgers could really use the time off.

The second half schedule is more road heavy, but a lot softer in strength. The Dodgers are done playing the toughest teams in the National League, the Pirates and Braves. And have just four games left with the Cardinals. Having just four games left with the top three teams in the league is big advantage.

The Dodgers are also done playing the Brewers, and Angels. There are two teams the Dodgers have yet to play at all this season, and that is the Reds and Cubs. The Dodgers have seven games left against each of those clubs.

The Dodgers have a 27-23 mark at home, and 20-24 record on the road. Within the division, they have struggled, but over the last three weeks they have fared much better. (22 games) In those games the Dodgers have gone 14-4. Overall they are 23-26 against the NL west, splitting 12 games with Colorado, and the Giants, losing 7 of 13 versus San Diego, and losing 7 of 12 to Arizona. The Dodgers have 26 of their 29 remaining games of the season versus divisional clubs, and there is a good chance those remaining games against the NL West will determine the division winner.

The Dodgers have 68 games remaining. Here is how they break down.

31 home games

37 road games

26 games vs. NL West

7 vs. San Francisco

7 vs. Arizona

6 vs. San Diego

6 vs. Colorado

13 games vs. NL East

4 vs. Miami

3 vs. Washington

3 vs. Philadelphia

3 vs. Mets

18 games vs. NL Central

7 vs. Cincinnati

7 vs. Chicago

4 vs. St.Louis

11 Interleague games

3 vs. Toronto

3 vs. Boston

3 vs. Tampa Bay

2 vs. Yankees

The Dodgers of course have a lot of divisional games remaining at the end of the season, but otherwise the second half schedule looks pretty soft. The toughest games may be the 11 interleague games, (Thanks god only three against Boston, Tampa Bay, and two with the Yankees) including series against Boston, Tampa Bay, and the Yankees. The Dodgers open up the second half with series’ in Washington, and Toronto.

Los Angeles Dodgers batter Hanley Ramirez hits an RBI single in the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.-Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have five scheduled off days the rest of the way. Two are scheduled in August, and two in September, July 29, August 15, August 29, September 5, and September 23. The longest home stand is a nine gamer (Boston, Chicago, San Diego) from August 23- September 1. The longest road trip is a ten game trip (Arizona, San Francisco, and San Diego) from September 16-September 26.

The Dodgers end the season with a three game home stand against Colorado from September 27-September 29. The combined average winning percentage of the Dodger’s second half opponents is just .502 in the second half. If the Dodgers can finish with a 40-28 record, that would give them 87 wins, and an 87-75 record. I think that is doable for the club. Is that enough to win the division? How many games do you think the Dodgers will win in the second half? Can the Dodgers take advantage of their weaker second half schedule?