Three Things to Look for From the Dodgers in the Second Half

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Apr 11, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock (11) steals third base as the ball gets away from Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) during the third inning at Chase Field. Turner would be injured on the play. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

1. Win on the road

I put a lot more stock into winning on the road than I do winning against teams with winning records. People love to throw around the Dodgers’ record against teams with winning record (8-18 if my math is right, which it never is) as a reason they’re not contenders. They’re 3-9 against the Giants, which is a lot more annoying than it is troublesome. If you take those games away, the Giants would be three games under .500. On the contrary, if you take away the Dodgers’ 9-3 record against the Diamondbacks, Arizona would be two games over .500. It would be nice for the Dodgers to play better against their probably playoff foes, St. Louis (Dodgers are 2-5 against them) and the Giants (3-9), while the Dodgers have yet to play the Washington Nationals or Pittsburgh Pirates. Last year, the Dodgers won both season series against St. Louis and San Francisco, and we don’t need a reminder of what happened in the postseason.

More troublesome is the Dodgers road record. Barring a collapse, it seems like the Cardinals will hold home-field throughout the NL playoffs, and the Dodgers should hold on to the second or third seed. The Dodgers are four games under .500 on the road and 16 games over .500 at home.

The Dodgers open the second half of the season with 10 straight road games against the Nationals, Braves and Mets before they return home for some interleague play. The Nats series should be tough, but the Braves and Mets are both extremely beatable and it would be nice to get a sweep somewhere in there. Having a nice lead heading into August would be ideal, as the Giants will be run through the gauntlet in a grueling August stretch, where they play the Cubs, Astros, Nationals, Cardinals, Pirates, Cubs, Cardinals and Dodgers from August 6-September 2.