Welcome to the start of the second half, folks.
No, the All-Star break isn’t here, but the Dodgers played their 81st game on Thursday night, meaning the season is officially halfway done. Today is the easiest day to figure out what somebody is on pace for; just multiply by two.
Will the 53-win Dodgers become the 106-win Dodgers? To do that, they need a very strong second half, and that starts on Friday night against the Padres at Petco Park.
So far this season, the Dodgers have beaten the Padres five out of six times, outscoring San Diego 45-14. The one Padres win was a start by Clayton Richard, who starts the series opener for the Padres on Friday.
Richard kept the Dodgers completely off balance on Apr. 4 at Dodger Stadium, pitching eight scoreless innings in the second game of the season. The Dodgers have faced Richard since then, scoring five runs in five innings on May 6, with more walks (six) than strikeouts (five).
The Dodgers are now up to sixth in MLB with a .785 OPS against left-handed pitchers this season, hitting .250/.338/.447 against southpaws in 2017, a marked improvement from literally the bottom on offense against lefties last year.
Alex Wood starts the opener for the Dodgers, his final chance for an All-Star push before rosters are announced on Sunday afternoon. Wood is 8-0 with a minuscule 1.86 ERA, with a strikeout rate (29.8%) in line with ace Clayton Kershaw (30.1%).
Double your pleasure
Through 81 games, the Dodgers have a whopping 10 different players with 10 or more doubles, topping out with 19 by Corey Seager, on pace for 38 after hitting 40 doubles as a rookie.
The Dodgers lead the majors with 164 doubles this season, on pace to break the franchise mark of 307 doubles, hit in 2006. They are also hitting doubles at a rate faster than the 1.97-per-game pace in 1930 in Brooklyn.
In six games against the Padres in 2017, the Dodgers have 12 doubles, and 10 home runs.
Time: 7:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network