The Los Angels Dodgers will begin their second half of the season Friday on the road against the Colorado Rockies, the same opponent which they faced in the season opener.
Friday will be beginning of a 16-game stretch when the Dodgers will only play divisional opponents. This stretch will encompass the remainder of July. They won’t face a non division opponent until August 3 when they host the Houston Astros.
This divisional stretch may very well what determine the 2021 National League West Division Champion. The Dodgers begin the second half of the season two games behind the Giants, who currently have the best record in the Majors.
It figures to be a three-team race, with the Padres also involved. It might be that at the end of the month all three teams bring in reinforcements through trades. The Dodgers, who at the beginning of the season had 7-8 pitchers who could be pat of the rotation, now can use a bit of help. Tt is expected they will add one or more pitchers before the deadline.
It has been no secret that the Dodgers have dealt with a number of injuries this season, so health will be a big key factor in the second half.
Starting the second half will be left hander Julio Urias for the Dodgers who is tied for first in the Majors for most wins with 11. Urias went 11-3 in the first half of the season with a 3.64 ERA. He will face right-hander Antonio Senzatela who’s 2-8 with a 4.58 ERA.
The weekend matchups are set to be Walker Buehler who’s 9-1 and posted a 2.36 ERA against righty Chi Chi Gonzalez who’s 3-5 and posted a 5.51 ERA. Closing out the series will be David Price in which it can very well be a bullpen against lefty Kyle Freeland who’s 1-3 with a 5.48.
The Dodgers should be able to win this series; maybe not a sweep, but at least take two out of three. The two sides will meet again next weekend at Dodger Stadium. Even though the Rockies record is 41-50, they still have the fifth-best home record in the league. Since the Dodgers took three out of four in the Opening Series back in April, the Rockies have only lost three series at Coors Field.
After this series, the Dodgers will host the Giants for a four-game set next week that will be quite crucial. The two foes meet seven times in the next two weeks.
The X-factor for the second half may very well be Corey Seager, as the shortstop has been out since May but figures to return to the lineup soon.
Mookie Betts has had a down year by Mookie Betts standards, and Cody Bellinger has struggled with injuries. Yet all that has occurred the Dodgers still have the second best record in the league at 56-36.
As long as injuries don’t decimate the team in the second half, the Dodgers should be fine and be one of the top playoff contenders come October.
First pitch for Friday’s opener is scheduled at 5:40 p.m. Pacific.