The Dodgers already made a long climb out of a self-created hole, falling 10 games below .500 before rebounding to 10 games over .500 and first place in the National League West at the All-Star break. Now, the real work begins.
Starting things after the four days off is a daunting 10-game road trip that will feature series against the Brewers, Phillies and Braves, three teams that at the moment own better records than the Dodgers.
National League standings
|Team||W-L (Pct)||Run diff.|
|Team||W-L (Pct)||Run diff.|
The Dodgers are still in good shape relative to these other National League playoff contenders. At +82, the Dodgers’ run differential is the second-best in the league, behind only the Cubs (+114), and Los Angeles added about as good a midseason reinforcement you will find in Manny Machado.
Projected standings at both Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs have the Dodgers finishing with a better record than anyone in the NL except Chicago, and the folks at Bovada have the Dodgers pegged as 3/1 favorites to win the pennant, up from 4/1 odds on July 2 and way up from 9/1 odds on June 1. Their 9/2 odds to win the World Series matches the Red Sox and trails only the Yankees (4/1) in MLB.
This road trek through Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Atlanta is the second of three scheduled 10-game trips for the Dodgers this season, with another journey to Colorado, Cincinnati and St. Louis set for Sept. 7-16.
On the first extended road trip this season, an earlier rainout meant the Dodgers needed a doubleheader in San Francisco. That Apr. 27-May 6 trip saw the Dodgers play 11 games in 10 days in three cities and two countries, including a trip to Mexico to face the Padres. They only went 4-7 on that trip, which was par for the course with how the Dodgers were playing back then, during their 16-26 start.
It was notable because as challenging as long road trips are, the Dodgers have generally done quite well in their extended trips. That 4-7 trip was the club’s first losing road trip of 10 or more games since Sept. 6-16, 2010. The Dodgers had 13 long road trips in between and never finished worse than 5-5, going 77-53 (.592) in those games. That’s better than the club’s .566 overall winning percentage in those seasons (2011-17).
Dodgers’ 10-game road trips (2011-2018)
|June 3-12, 2011||Reds, Phillies, Rockies||5-5|
|August 15-24, 2011||Brewers, Rockies, Cardinals||5-5|
|September 1-11, 2011||Pirates, Braves, Nationals, Giants||7-3|
|June 1-10, 2012||Rockies, Phillies, Mariners||7-3|
|July 20-29, 2012||Mets, Cardinals, Giants||7-3|
|August 10-19, 2012||Marlins, Pirates, Braves||7-3|
|September 16-26, 2013||Diamondbacks, Padres, Giants||5-5|
|September 12-21, 2014||Giants, Rockies, Cubs||6-4|
|June 22-July 1, 2015||Cubs, Marlins, Diamondbacks||6-4|
|July 17-26, 2015||Nationals, Braves, Mets||5-5|
|September 3-13, 2015||Padres, Angels, Diamondbacks||7-3|
|September 9-18, 2016||Marlins, Yankees, Diamondbacks||5-5|
|September 11-21, 2017||Giants, Nationals, Phillies||5-5|
|April 27-May 6, 2018||Giants, Padres*, Diamondbacks||4-7|