Coming out of the All-Star break, the Los Angles Dodgers embarked on a treacherous nine-game road trip comprised of matchups against teams currently in playoff position in the National League.
Even with a return home, however, things didn’t get easier. Their next three series also featured postseason teams, followed by what turned out to be a nightmare four-game set at Coors Field.
All in all, the Dodgers finished the stretch 11-12 and, everything considered, it’s hard to view that as anything less than acceptable. But now, with the end of August staring the Dodgers in the face, they’ve got no more excuses.
Beginning with the recently-completed series against the San Francisco Giants, they find themselves in the midst of a stretch in which 16 of 21 games (from Aug. 13 through Sept. 5) are at Dodger Stadium.
And while this stretch features games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals — clubs well above .500 — it also features contests with the last-place San Diego Padres and last-place Texas Rangers, and New York Mets.
As the Dodgers look ahead to this 21-game stretch still in the heat of a divisional battle, it’s safe to say that this is make-or-break time in Chavez Ravine. If they can’t rattle off 13-plus wins, it’s going to be hard to imagine them finding themselves atop the division come the end of September.
After this favorable stretch, the Dodgers head out on a 10-game road trip, come home for six games and then end the season with six more games on the road.
Again: the current 21-game stretch is absolutely critical for the Dodgers.
Interestingly enough, the Dodgers have actually been better on the road this season — posting a 35-28 record on the road and a 32-30 mark at Dodger Stadium.
At this point, though, that’s all in the past — the fate of the 2018 Dodgers rests on the remaining 40 games in front of them.
Can they do it? Can they make it six NL West titles in a row? We’re about to find out.