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Tougher schedule brewing for Dodgers

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers are back home for a three-game series against a Brewers time trying to keep their heads above water in not one but two playoff races.

The Brewers enter Friday three games back of the Cubs in the National League Central, and 3½ games behind the Rockies for the second wild card spot.

Milwaukee owned a 5½-game divisional lead over Chicago at the All-Star break.

That the Brewers are 16-21 since the break hasn’t helped, but it has really been the Cubs who have seized the driver’s seat in the division, at 25-13 since the midsummer classic.

FanGraphs projects Milwaukee’s odds of making the postseason at 11.7 percent, down from 31.7 percent at the break. Baseball Prospectus gives them a 16-percent chance of playing past the first day of October.

But the Brewers aren’t going down without a fight. They have won seven of their last 10 games, though that also included dropping two of three this week to the last-place Giants.

This weekend will also see a Mets reunion between Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker, who can swap stories about their new teams.

Granderson, acquired from New York on Friday night, has three home runs in six games since joining the Dodgers. Walker, dealt to Milwaukee on Aug. 12, is 12-for-28 (.429/.515/.571) with his new team with a home run, a double and five walks in nine games.

With the Brewers at 66-62, the Dodgers will face a team with a winning record this weekend, something that has happened in just four of the 36 games since the All-Star break. The Dodgers won three of those four games — beating the Twins (49-48) on July 24 and taking two of the three in Arizona from Aug. 8-10.

The Dodgers are 36-21 (.632) against teams with winning records in 2017, including 17 wins in their last 21 such games (.810) dating back to June 7.

Thirteen of the Dodgers’ next 17 games are against teams with winning records — the top three teams in the wild card hunt -- plus road series in later September against the Nationals and Rockies remain on the docket.

At the very least, in addition to the Dodgers’ road seeing some tougher terrain down the stretch, they will likely have an impact on who they might face in the NLDS.

Game info

Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA