If you haven’t heard yet, the LA Dodgers are unstoppable. As of writing this, on Sunday morning, they have an 82-34 record, and are 17 games ahead of the second place Rockies in the NL West. They’re the only team in the majors with a winning percentage above .700. The Dodgers have been resetting records and we still have a month and a half of baseball left to play.
Here are five things you need to know about the Dodgers right now:
They could break the wins record
At the moment, the Dodgers are on pace to win 115 games this season, with 46 games left to go. That would leave them one win shy of the record, still held by the 1906 Chicago Cubs, who won 116 games that season. But considering the magical season we’ve seen from them so far, who’s to say they won’t be able to match the 116 game record, or even pass it?
Apparently the oddsmakers say they won’t.
According to NBC Los Angeles, BetOnline oddsmakers in Vegas set the bar at 110 wins during the regular season. There’s a 52 percent chance they’ll pass the threshold, but a 53.5 percent chance they’ll win less than the 110 games.
As for actually breaking the record, there’s only a 13 percent chance of that.
They haven’t lost a series in over two months
You probably can’t even remember the last time the Dodgers lost a series. We had to go back and look. The last time the Dodgers lost a series was the beginning of June, when the Washington Nationals took two of three games. At the end of that series, the Dodgers had a 36-25 record, meaning they’ve only lost nine games since. Nine.
During the stretch they played two series that ended in ties, one against their crosstown rivals, the LA Angels, the other against the Atlanta Braves (also the last time they suffered two losses in a row).
They are the fastest NL team to 82 wins in more than 7 decades
The Dodgers rallied from a 3-1 deficit against the Padres on Saturday to claim win no. 82. With the W, the Dodgers became the fastest National League team to 82 wins in 73 years, passing the 1944 Cardinals. The last AL team to reach 82 wins at such a pace were the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who needed 113 games to make 82 wins. The Dodgers needed 116 wins.
RECAP: #Dodgers even series with 6-3 win over Padres and become fastest NL team to 82 wins in 73 years. ?
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 13, 2017
They have one of the greatest rookies in the game
Some of us, if not most of us, have spent most of this season fawning over Yankees phenom Aaron Judge that we haven’t given enough attention to Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, who’s had a phenomenal season of his own.
On Saturday Bellinger hit home run no. 34 of the season. He’s just one homer short of tying Mike Piazza’s franchise record for home runs scored by a rookie. With 46 games left in the regular season, it’s hard to believe Bellinger won’t tie, break and shatter the record.
The only two players in the majors with more home runs than Bellinger are Judge (35) and Giancarlo Stanton (41) of the Miami Marlins. His OPS, .970, is ninth in the majors and seventh in the NL and he’s tied for ninth in the NL with 79 RBIs.
Not bad for a guy who’s only appeared in 96 games so far this season.
Clayton Kershaw could be back very soon
The Dodgers have been playing without Clayton Kershaw since July 23rd. But their ace could be coming back soon (not that they’re struggling without him, they’ve won 14 of 17 games since his injury). On Friday Kershaw pitched off the mound for the first time since he was sidelined, and manager Dave Roberts said it was “better than fine.”
With Kershaw back on the mound and the addition of Yu Darvish, who has a 1.50 ERA since he was acquired by the Dodgers, LA’s rotation alone can give them the boost to do the unthinkable and break the 111-year old Cubs’ record.
This is a bonus. There has been only one major blemish on their season so far: their TV deal. The Dodgers’ 2017 campaign has been one to remember, but it hasn’t even been enjoyed by many Dodgers fans.
In 2013 the team struck a deal with Time Warner Cable to create Spectrum SportsNet LA, but only Spectrum and Charter customers can access the channel, meaning many Dodgers fans cannot watch their team on TV. Fans have been fighting this for years, but this season’s magical run has resulted in national attention.
For the sake of their fans, we hope Spectrum or Guggenheim Partners (or both) find some sort of solution. This is a season to remember, and every fan should be able to be a part of it.