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Dodgers & the race to 50 wins

Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers have been on fire, and will try to extend their longest winning streak in four years on Saturday night with their ace on the mound against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

With eight straight wins, the Dodgers find themselves at 49-26, with the best record in the National League. They need just one win in their next six games to win 50 games within their first 81, the halfway point of the season.

LA Dodgers fastest to 50 wins

Year Games to 50 Final record
Year Games to 50 Final record
1974 74 102-60
1977 75 98-64
1962 78 102-63
1973 77 95-66
2009 79 95-67
2002 79 92-70
1981* 80 63-47
*strike-shortened; 63-47 translates to 93 wins over 162-game season

They have come a long way since people were worrying about their poor (9-11) start. Since then — which happened to coincide with Cody Bellinger getting called up — the Dodgers are 40-15.

Since moving west in 1958, the Dodgers have won 50 of their first 81 games seven times, with the last time coming in 2009. Only twice have they been ahead of this year’s pace — in 1974, the club needed just 74 games to win 50; and in 1977, it took 75 games.

Saturday night is the Dodgers’ 76th game of 2017.

Clayton Kershaw is on the mound trying to get the Dodgers to 50, and also trying to wipe away the memory of allowing a career-high four home runs in his last start, on Monday night against the Mets.

Kershaw in his career has allowed multiple home runs in a start 20 times. He has never done so in back-to-back starts.

After those first 19 such starts, in his next time out Kershaw has a 1.73 ERA, with 140 strikeouts and 29 walks in 135 innings, with a total of only three home runs allowed.

Kershaw has won seven consecutive home starts against the Rockies, with his last loss coming July 12, 2013. In 16 career starts against Colorado at Dodger Stadium, Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.54 ERA, and the Dodgers are 14-2 in those games.

In half of those 16 starts, Kershaw allowed no runs.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network