Manager Don Mattingly of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Jerry Hairston Jr. and Carlos Marmol #49 the Los Angeles Dodgers after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Dodger Stadium.
Coming out of the All-Star Break, the biggest concern to many was that the Dodgers had a tough schedule featuring playoff-bound opponents such as the Reds, Cardinals, and Rays. Well, the Dodgers handled that task, going 9-2 against these contenders, and now have a bit of an easier road for a long stretch.
As if a team that is 20-3 since the break needs any more help, they will be playing 19 of their next 22 games against teams under .500. A three-game series against the Boston Red Sox at home is the only winning team the Dodgers will face from now until they visit the Cincinnati Reds in September.
It's not as if they are about to play teams that are fluttering around .500, these are losing teams that are trying not to finish in last place. It begins Monday with a three-game series against the Mets who are 9 games under .500, then three games in Phildelphia, 13 games under .500, four games against the Marlins, the worst team in the NL, and three games at home against the Cubs, 1.5 out of last in the NL Central.
Before heading to Cincinnati for three games they also face divisional opponents San Diego and Colorado, who are currently 11 and 9 games under .500, respectively.
The Dodgers have a 7.5-game lead in the NL West over the Diamondbacks and 48 games left in the season. Arizona does will not face anywhere near as easy a schedule as the Dodgers, as they prepare to play 10 games against playoff teams like the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cincinnatti Reds. In fact, from Aug. 16 to Aug. 18 the Dodgers will play the worst team in the NL, Miami, whie Arizona plays the best team in both leagues, Pittsburgh.
So you have an extremely hot ballclub, about to play some of the worst teams in the league, and they are going to be getting back their starting shortstop and center fielder soon in Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp. Yeah, things are looking good in Los Angeles about now.