Predicting the Dodgers’ 2020 Regular-Season Record

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(Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri/USA TODAY Sports)

The Dodgers open their 60-game shortened-season schedule against the Giants on July 23. They surely will want to sprint right out of the gates in the most unusual baseball season ever. During their run of  seven consecutive division titles, the Dodgers would have only won two division titles if the seasons would have ended after 60 games. Usually, the team starts hovering above .500  and then wears out their opponents later as the season progresses.

However, Dodger teams of the recent past have had incredible 60-game stretches, even going 51-9 during the 2017 season. In 2019, the team’s best stretch during  60 games was 43-17. During the first 60 games of last season, the Dodgers went 41-19. Manager Dave Roberts has recently said that every game will feel like a playoff game and that one game is now seemingly equivalent to three games.

A good chunk of the Dodgers schedule is against teams they are familiar with, as they are opponents within the division. There will be 40 divisional games, 20 being home and 20 being away. Each team will split opponents for 10 games, although the home and away splits are uneven. The remaining 20 games will be played against the American League West, which involves the annual freeway series against the Angels. It also pits the Dodgers against the Astros, which will be quite the showdown and could see a highly motivated Dodger team.

The Dodgers went 51-25 against division opponents in 2019. Their best record was against the Rockies going 15-4 and the worst against the Diamondbacks going 11-8. However, the Dodgers had winning records against all division opponents. The Angels, the only American League team on this year’s schedule that the Dodgers played last season, went 4-0 against the Dodgers.

The Dodgers made the biggest personnel splash in the NL West this offseason by acquiring Mookie Betts and once again stand as favorites to take the division. The only Dodger that has opted out of paying this season so far has been David Price. There are still numerous Dodgers who have not reported to camp, including Gavin Lux, Pedro Baez, and Kenley Jansen.

The Dodgers only play 10 games against opponents who last season were playoff teams. Those games are both against American League teams—the Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics. They will play six games against Oakland, three at home and three away. They will also meet the Astros for two games at Dodger Stadium and two games in Houston.

As we all know, the Dodgers have great depth which is one of their many advantages. The roster features great pitching and an outfield that has two potential MVPs. Lately, the Dodgers have been preparing for the season by holding intrasquad games. By the time the regular season begins, the Dodgers look to be ready.

The Dodgers should definitely win more than 35 games—the number that will probably be around the minimum to get in the playoffs. Barring any injury or coronavirus infections to players, the Dodgers will probably hover around 40-45 wins, even though a monumental mark of 50 wins isn’t out of the question. Undoubtedly, the Dodgers have the talent to do it. The setting is just way too different than a regular 162-game season. But if one team can certainly reach that threshold, it could be the Dodgers.

Looking at division opponents the Dodgers should have winning records against all of them. In the American League the Astros, Athletics, and Angels could give the Dodgers a run for their money but the Dodgers could easily have winning records against them also.

The Dodgers season record I’m predicting—assuming everything goes right—is 45-15, a record that should get them in the playoffs. This number of wins will probably even be close to the mark for the best record in the league.

The Dodgers will have to take care of business in the regular season, but the goal remains the same. Anything less than a World Series will be a disappointment, even in this strange, abbreviated 2020 campaign.

 

4 thoughts on “Predicting the Dodgers’ 2020 Regular-Season Record

  1. 30 wins should walk away with this division. Should be aiming at 50 wins. Less than 45 will probably be a0 disappointment. Can hardly wait.

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  2. I am thinking somewhere around 40-20. The weak sisters in the division are a little weaker because of some players opting out, or just not that good. Giants lost Posey today, and have a huge hole at catcher. They and the Rockies pitching are obviously suspect. The Padres will present the biggest challenge to the Dodgers in my mind. I just do not see the D-Backs being that great either. If he makes the team, it will be very strange seeing Matt Kemp in Rockies gear. I saw a photo of him on twitter, and he has let his hair grow out again. Good news is they only play the A’s 3 times. All those games the last home stand of the year before they finish against the Halos. They do have a tough stretch between August 7th to the 23rd when they play 17 days straight. They will play the Giants, Padres, Angels, Mariners, and odd 2 home then 2 on the road series, and the Rockies. Good news is 12 of the 17 are at home. 2 on the road vs Seattle, and a 3 game set in Anaheim, which is almost as good as being home. The biggest tell for me will be how well they do out of the gate. After a 4 game set at home with the Giants, they go on the road for 9 games against the Astros, D-Backs and Padres before coming home for 7 against the Giants and Padres. Getting out of the gate hot in a shortened season like this will be crucial. There just is not enough time to play catch up.

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  3. Injuries could be up due to the shortened preparation time and how many players will miss significant time due to covid. Dodger depth should prove crucial but the healthiest teams will have a huge advantage. Total crapshoot this year. Don’t sleep on the Padres if healthy

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  4. I don’t think we can rule out anyone in a 60 game season. Even the Giants, as bad as they look (and even worse without Posey) could get lucky

    Yes, we definitely have the best team in the division by far, but don’t count your titles before they’re official.

    For those who are interested, the intra-squad game is on at 1:00 PDT this afternoon, being shown on the usual sites.
    (I included the “PDT” for you Dennis and Andy 🙂 )

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