Monday brought us one step closer to baseball, as MLB announced the finalized regular-season schedules for all 30 teams. The Dodgers will be facing a heavy onslaught of divisional games, but they will also see the AL West throughout the shortened season.
THE RACE IS ON. pic.twitter.com/YzvkdK76Uj
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 6, 2020
Now that we can finally see how the season will play out, there are a few matchups that offer some added intrigue. Instead of breaking them all down, however, we’ll stick with the three biggest series for the Dodgers going into the 2020 season.
3. Dodgers at Astros (July 28-29)
Baseball decided that fans didn’t need to wait long at all to see the rematch between the Dodgers and Astros, a series that we weren’t even supposed to get this year. This matchup will matter for more reasons than one, but either way, it will be one that LA wants to win. We’ll start with the obvious reason why: to show Houston that with an even playing field, the Dodgers are the better team. The Astros talked a lot of garbage in the aftermath of the investigation, often stating that they were the better team either way. Which begs the question: If they really felt this way, why cheat? This will be an early opportunity to get some sweet revenge, even if it doesn’t heal past wounds.
The second reason that this will be an important series is that it will show what the team’s mindset is like early on. Will they be more haunted by the past or will they be calm and collected? In a 60 game season, there is no time to waste and no room for error. If the Dodgers let their emotions control their game in this series, it could set them back just enough to make the end of the season a race to the finish. But if they come out poised and with their emotions in check, it will be a sign that this team is primed for a deep run. It’s a shame that the Dodgers don’t get to host the first meeting of the year between them, but more on that coming up…
2. Angels at Dodgers (September 25-27)
One of the biggest storylines entering the original start to the season was how much the Angels had improved during the offseason. With Anthony Rendon there to protect Mike Trout in the lineup and with a healthy Shohei Otani, the Angels were hoping to turn some heads this year. That makes this end of the season matchup all the more interesting if you ask me. With the possibility of a log jam in the standings thanks to the shortened season, these will be three big games for both teams. There is little doubt that the Dodgers have the talent to waltz into the postseason if they want, but the Angels will find themselves in a fight with Houston in the AL throughout the season. It is very possible that the Angels will be fighting for a playoff spot at this point in the season, and that kind of intensity will make these games exciting to watch. Throw in the fact that these two teams boast some of the best players in the game, and you have the makings of a wild end to the 2020 regular season.
1. Astros at Dodgers (September 12-13)
I mentioned earlier that it was a shame that Houston will be hosting the first meeting of the season between them and the Dodgers. It would’ve made for great tv, and given the Dodgers a chance to beat the cheating Astros on their home field to start the year. However, something tells me that MLB planned it out this way for a reason.
It’s no secret that the league wants to allow fans into games, even in a limited capacity. And as unlikely as it seems with the current trend, there is a small chance that COVID-19 cases could drop enough by the time September comes around that individual counties could begin permitting crowds at sporting events. If so, MLB could capitalize with some big end of the season matchups across the sport, with none bigger than the Astros playing at Dodgers Stadium. I imagine fans would be chomping at the bit to attend those games if the league permits it, myself included. And if fans are still kept out of the ballparks, there will still be playoff implications between these two teams and bragging rights to fight for.
It may be a shortened season, but baseball is finally back and it promises to be an exciting few months! This is the most talented Dodgers team on paper, and all that’s left is to see if they can back it up on the field.