September is always a strange month in Major League Baseball. Young talent begins to show up after the minor league season and crowd up the clubhouse, teams that have been knocked out of contention start to pull their veterans, and playoff contenders really start to dig deep. The Dodgers, on the other hand, have the luxury of both scenarios thanks to their schedule.
As of this post, the Dodgers are a staggering 40 games above the .500 mark with a 90-50 record. That means there are just 22 games left in the season, and they are all favorable.
Of the 22 games remaining, only 5 games will be played against a team with a winning record. The team will fly out to New York to face the Mets on the 13th, with their 70-67 record. The Rays come to town for a two-game series on the 17th, and they are 81-58 on the year. That’s about it in terms of remaining competitive games.
And that’s not to say that the teams the Dodgers are playing are not competitive, they just have not been good. These teams will no doubt start to pull their veterans as well since the Rockies, Orioles, and Padres are all eliminated from playoffs already. San Francisco will be knocked out sometime this week with their elimination number at two games.
So that means the Dodgers will play 17 games against teams that are out of playoff contention and likely playing their reserves. If I were a betting man, I’d say they take 12 out of those 17 games. If they can manage to take 3 of 5 from the contenders, that would put them at 105 wins and 57 losses on the year.
The Dodgers already added highly touted prospect Gavin Lux to their deep lineup, and more talent may be on the way. Los Angeles got back Ross Stripling, Julio Urias, Dylan Floro, and David Freese from injuries this past weekend, all who have a good chance of making the playoff roster.
Other World Series Contenders
The Yankees and Astros are really the only two other teams that the Dodgers may be worried about at the moment. Home field advantage in the World Series is no joke, and they will no doubt be keeping an eye on them.
The Yankees play 6 of their final 23 games against contenders. The Astros will play five more games against a playoff contender, facing the Brewers tonight and the A’s next week. After that, they will get to coast the remainder of the year, facing teams with a combined record of 240-314 as of today(Mariners, Royals, Rangers, Angels).
Dodgers‘ Remaining Teams’ Combined Record: 385-441 (.466 win percentage)
Yankees‘ Remaining Teams’ Combined Record: 383-444 (.463 win percentage)
Astros‘ Remaining Teams’ Combined Record: 318-372 (.461 win percentage)