Memo to the NL West: The Dodgers May Be Closer Than They Appear

Steve ByerlyCorrespondent IMay 14, 2010

Here they come again. 

In 2009 the Dodgers got off to a hot start at home, mainly against National League West opponents, and carried a lead to the finish line in October.  The formula in 2010 is exactly the same with a slight twist in the chronology. 

This season the Dodgers opened with 16 of the first 22 games played on the road and only two of those series were played within the Western Division.  As they did last season the Dodgers had growing pains on the road and gave the Giants and Padres a lead.

Well, don't look now because here they come. A quick look over their collective shoulders is about all the time the leaders have before the Dodgers first catch and then pass them for the Division lead. 

The formula is a tested one. In 2008 and 2009 Los Angeles has played average ball, at best, both on the road and in inter-league play.  The map to success is paved with domination of the rival opponents in their own division.

The Dodgers, as of this writing, have defeated Arizona's Diamondbacks 5 games out of six, the Colorado Rockies 2 games of 3, San Francisco's Giants 2 games of 3 and a big 3 game series about to begin against the Division leading San Diego Padres.  So far the Dodgers combined intra-division record is a combined 9 wins and 3 losses compared to the Giants 3 wins and 9 losses, Arizona's 5 wins and 10 losses, Colorado's 7 wins and 8 losses. San Diego has a winning record against the West with a 12 and 6 mark but that will change quickly this weekend where the Dodgers should capture 2 of this 3 game series.

Rest easy Dodger fans. This is not a new formula and the rest of the Western Division has seen it all before. The best lineup in the division will carry the team to another dominant record within their own division and as before that record will carry this years Dodger team to another Western Division Title and another playoff appearance.