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Dodgers Are The Best Against The West

The Dodgers' 12-1 win over San Francisco today clinched the season series over the Giants, meaning the Dodgers have won the season series against all four National League West opponents.  Since the birth of the five-team NL West in 1998 (the Diamondbacks' first season), the only other year the Dodgers have won the season series against all four divisional opponents was 2004, a division winning year.

The Dodgers are 43-23 against the NL West, with six games left against divisional foes, not surprisingly the best mark in the division.  Its also the best intra-divisional record in the National League.  Since the advent of the unbalanced schedule in 2001, NL West teams have played between 18 and 19 games against each team in their division, meaning between 44-47% of the schedule is played with familiar foes.  It seems logical that having success in your own division will lead to success. Here's a look at the last nine seasons of the NL West:

Year Best Div Record Division Winner
Dodgers I think we know
2008 Diamondbacks Dodgers
2007 Rockies* Diamondbacks
2006 Dodgers* Padres
2005 Diamondbacks Padres
2004 Dodgers Dodgers
2003 Giants Giants
2002 Giants* Diamondbacks
2001 Diamondbacks Diamondbacks
*made playoffs as Wild Card

If the Dodgers hold on to win the division, that will mean that the team with the best intra-divisional record in the NL West has made the playoffs seven times in nine seasons.  If they win their final six games within the division, the Dodgers will match the 2003 Giants' 53-23 divisional record.  Every game on the schedule is important, but good things happen when you beat your direct competitors.