In addition to several new rule changes, the 2023 MLB season is notable in that teams are playing a balanced schedule, resulting in fewer matchups against divisional rivals. Despite this, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the year with eight of their first 10 games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
After going 5-5, which included winning two games against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers faced the San Francisco Giants for the first time this season at Oracle Park.
L.A. went 15-4 against their longtime rival last year, which helped them set a franchise record with 111 wins during the regular season. The Dodgers lost two of three against the Giants this week and now won’t play them again until June 16-18 at Dodger Stadium.
Manager Dave Roberts does not believe the balanced schedule adds importance to the Dodgers’ games against the Giants, via SportsNet LA:
“Obviously we don’t play these guys 18 times this year within the division. It’s a division rival, so these games are always meaningful. You want to win every night, so I would say that in itself makes them important.”
However, Roberts believes the Dodgers-Giants rivalry has changed since becoming manager prior to the 2016 season:
“It’s continuing to evolve. I like the rivalry, I respect it. It’s different, certainly, playing for both teams and now managing the Dodgers. It’s always fun coming up to the Bay and competing with these guys. It’s hard to win up here for some reason, but we did a good job of that last year.”
With the new balanced schedule, the Dodgers face the Giants only 13 times this season as opposed to 19 in past years. L.A. is set to play San Francisco seven times in September, setting up what could be an interesting final month of the regular season.
Do Dodgers have a rivalry with Padres?
While there is no denying a heated rivalry exists between the Dodgers and Giants, recent seasons have opened the door to the same developing with the San Diego Padres.
After initially rebuffing the idea, Roberts said this past offseason that a “legit rivalry” exists between the Dodgers and Padres.
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