The Dodgers’ 2017 season is now just days away before they open the season in Los Angeles. The 2017 inter-league schedule features last year’s American League Champions, the Cleveland Indians, along with the rest of the AL Central division.
The Dodgers‘ match up with the Indians is one of the more intriguing matchups on the 2017 schedule, given that both teams have been predicted to make the World Series by experts. Here is a breakdown of the schedule as a whole.
Los Angeles should be able to open the season on a winning note, given that they play the lowly Padres in the first four games of the season. The Padres are rebuilding and starting the season featuring one of the worst starting rotations in recent memory.
However, the schedule gets much tougher after the Padres, as the Dodgers visit Colorado for three and then travel out to Chicago to face the champion Chicago Cubs for a three-game set. The first month is primarily against the NL West, which includes two separate series against the Rockies and Diamondbacks. Their only two opponents outside of the division in April are the Cubs and Phillies.
May appears to be the hardest month, schedule-wise, for the Dodgers, as they face the Giants and Cardinals for six games each. Both the Giants and Cardinals are teams that always give Los Angeles a hard time. The Dodgers also play the Cubs three more games in May, and then they are done with them for the 2017 season, barring a playoff rematch.
In the latter-half of May, the Dodgers have a nine-game stretch where they face solely the Cardinals and Cubs. That is going to be an early litmus test on how good the Dodgers really are. Other teams on the schedule for May are the Pirates, who are looking to have a bounce-back season, and the Don Mattingly-led Miami Marlins, for a four-game series at Chavez Ravine.
Los Angeles’ second toughest month of the season comes on the heels of their toughest month. In June, the Dodgers have one game with the Cardinals on the first day of the month and then they play the Nationals, Indians, Mets, and Angels. LA has turned the tables on the Angels the past few seasons, but prior to that, the Angels owned the Freeway Series, as they hold a 61-49 series advantage over the real team from Los Angeles.
June will be the month that lets the Dodgers know how their rotation stacks up with some of the best, as the Indians, Nationals, and Mets all have great rotations. The Dodgers’ offense will also be tested since they could potentially face Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Corey Kluber.
Prior to the end of the Dodgers’ first half, they wrap up with the Diamondbacks and Royals before embarking on their All-Star Break. After the All-Star Break, they start off with the Marlins. The theme for July, however, is the AL Central, given that LA squares off with the Royals, White Sox, and Twins, all in the same month.
The second-half of July features a 10-game home stand, which includes a series against former trade-target Brian Dozier, and his Minnesota Twins. After that, the Dodgers play the hated San Francisco Giants to wrap up July and the end of the non-waiver trade deadline.
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To start the month of August, the likely trade-bolstered Dodgers go on a nine-game road trip to face the Braves, Mets, and Diamondbacks. This will be the first time the Dodgers get to play in the Braves’ new stadium SunTrust Park. Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers will also get a visit from the Dodgers in August for the lone three games against the Tigers in 2017. Verlander was the talk of a few Dodger rumors this past offseason, so if the Dodgers were to rekindle those talks and acquire Verlander, it could be his first visit back to Detroit.
After the Tigers, the Dodgers have a four-game set at beautiful PNC Park with the Pirates, before finishing off August with the Brewers and Diamondbacks. August appears to be the easiest month of the season since the only potential playoff teams the Dodgers face are the Mets, Tigers, and Pirates. However, the Tigers and Pirates are in the bubble between being contenders and pretenders, so for the moment, August seems like the easiest month.
The final month of the regular season starts off like the first month of the season: against the Padres. September is a pretty evenly balanced month because the Dodgers have nine games against the playoff-caliber Giants and Nationals, but they also have 10 games against bottom feeders in the Padres and Phillies.
The other 10 games for the month(s) are against the Diamondbacks and Rockies. How those two teams fare in 2017 could swing the balance on whether the Dodgers finish their playoff push on a good note or a bad note. With the last six games being against the Padres and Rockies, the boys in blue could finish very strongly and clinch their fifth straight NL West title, if they haven’t already clinched by then.
The 2017 schedule features an equal balance of rough and easy stretches for Los Angeles. There will be many great pitching matchups this coming season, so if you’re a fan of good pitching duels, 2017 will be one to watch closely. Even one of the Dodgers’ weaker opponents, the rebuilding White Sox, has a potential CY Young candidate in Jose Quintana (at the moment). Which matchups are you most looking forward to in the 2017 season?