It’s a setup, right? Money in the bank. Sunrise should be so predictable.
Unless, of course, it’s not.
The Dodgers are about to embark on a new phase in their schedule, the one that is supposedly easy as they come. This after a tough stretch that might have been their most difficult of the year.
The Dodgers came out of the All-Star break and promptly were assigned 29 games in 31 days, 26 against winning teams and with 18 on the road.
They went 16-13 in that stretch and actually increased their division lead from one game to the current 3½ games over San Francisco.
And beginning Tuesday against the Padres, they start their final 36 games of the year – only nine against winning teams and with only 15 on the road.
Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan analyzed the remaining schedules of each of the 19 teams still in postseason contention and determined the Dodgers had the easiest remaining stretch.
Wrote Passan: “Lowest winning percentage among remaining teams? Check. Second-highest percentage of home games? Check. Most off-days? Check? Fewest opponents at .500 or better? Check. If there were any question that the Dodgers have the moistest of cake walks, leave them at the valet stand.”
It should be noted that if he had the Dodgers with the 19th most challenging schedule in the rankings, he had the second-place Giants at 15.
You’ll be stunned to learn that Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly isn’t buying into this easy road to the playoffs routine.
“It’s hard to look down the road,” Mattingly said. “At this time of the year, it’s going to be hard to win games, for everybody. Every team you play is dangerous.
“San Diego is playing well. You just come ready to play. You can’t worry about yesterday. We can’t worry about two weeks from now, we play San Diego. On Tuesday, be ready to play. It’s not that complicated.”
The Padres may be 58-65 overall, but they’re 16-13 in their last 29 games. The Dodgers also have six games with the Giants in the season’s final 19 days.
Nothing is guaranteed except for death, taxes and the demise of newspapers. The Dodgers aren’t exactly in robust health and they haven’t been dazzling the baseball world on the way to their 70-56 mark.
Most anything could happen, scheduled or otherwise.