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A look at recent Dodgers’ 60-game starts & finishes

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As we wait for a 60-game MLB schedule for 2020

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants Photo by Adam Glanzman/MLB Photos via Getty Images

We have reached the apparent endgame of Major League Baseball’s labor negotiations, with MLB planning to implement a 2020 schedule once the players agree on a spring training reporting date plus health and safety protocols.

Multiple parties reported the commissioner-implemented schedule will be 60 games, the same number as the owners’ last offer, with an opening day on or around July 24. Mike DiGiovanna and Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times have more information on that front.

Last week at The Athletic, Eno Sarris compared the seasonal length of competing offers from owners and players. “If you do want some sense of legitimacy, it’s fairly clear,” Sarris wrote. “There’s a big gulf between a 48-game season and an 89-game season. It looks like 60 games is a big benchmark for that sort of thing.”

Russell Carleton at Baseball Prospectus looked at the legitimacy of a 60-game season as well, but also wondered if the coronavirus pandemic would even allow such a schedule to be completed.

Not that this is an indicator or anything, but I looked at the Dodgers’ last seven division titles, and various 60-game stretches in each season.

Dodgers 60-game stretches, 2013-19

Year First 60 games NLW rank Last 60 games NLW rank Best 60 games Worst 60 games
Year First 60 games NLW rank Last 60 games NLW rank Best 60 games Worst 60 games
2019 41-19 1 39-21 1 43-17 35-25
2018 30-30 3 35-25 2* 40-20 30-30
2017 35-25 2* 33-27 2* 51-9 32-28
2016 32-28 2 34-26 1 37-23 30-30
2015 35-25 1 35-25 1 37-23 30-30
2014 31-29 2* 38-22 1 38-22 30-30
2013 27-33 5 38-22 1 47-13 23-37
*good enough for wild card berth

Outside of a truly terrible start to 2013 (they were 30-42 before taking off), the Dodgers haven’t had any stretch of 60 games with a losing record. They were 41-19 after the first 60 games in 2019, the best record in the National League, and they were 39-21 in their last 60 games last year, the second-best record in the NL.

The Dodgers were in first place after 60 games only twice in the last seven years, but would have qualified for a wild card berth in both 2014 and 2017. But in their final 60 games of the season, the Dodgers have had the best record in the division five times, and in the other two years they would have been good enough for a wild card spot.

Just food for thought as we head into an odd season in an even year.

Links

The 60-game season will be the shortest major league season since 1878, writes Ronald Blum at the Associated Press.

Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports on MLB returning: “Concluding more than a month of negotiations held amid a global pandemic and notable for their passive-aggressive statements, personal resentments and up-to-the-minute news leaks, baseball might finally be sneaking up on its when and where.”


Tuesday night on HBO’s ‘Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel’ (7 p.m. PT), 35 panelists from all over the sports world discuss systemic racial injustice. Included among the group is tennis Hall of Famer and current Dodgers owner Billie Jean King.

“The water’s been simmering, almost boiling over, but now it has,” King said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen white people actually listen to black people and have compassion and empathy.”