Entering Friday’s action, the Los Angeles Dodgers are 90-40. The issue of whether they will win the NL West has been settled for a couple of months. They have a comfortable 6.5-game lead over the Astros in the race for the best record in baseball. They have to play merely .500 baseball the rest of the way to match the franchise’s single-season record for wins (106).
But an ultimate question remains: Can the Dodgers break MLB’s all-time wins record?
MLB wins record: Can Dodgers break it?
Who and how many wins is it?
The record is shared by the 2001 Seattle Mariners and the 1906 Chicago Cubs, each of whom won 116 games. For the Dodgers to match it, they would need to go 26-6 the rest of the way. That’s an 81.3 winning percentage, which is astronomical. But considering that the Dodgers went 50-15 (76.9 percent) in a stretch of games through the end of August, it’s not impossible.
Looking at Dodgers schedule
The schedule is in the Dodgers’ favor. Only 12 of their remaining 32 games will pit them against teams who currently have a winning record. And nine of those 12 games will be versus the Padres, whom the Dodgers have dominated recently. L.A. has won 17 of the past 19 meetings in that series, including eight of 10 this season. Beyond that and a three-game home set versus the Cardinals in late September, the Dodgers’ schedule is filled with contests against also-ran squads (D-backs, Giants, Rockies).
While always unlikely, this was more debatable before the Dodgers dropped two of three games versus the Mets earlier this week. Now they have to be just about perfect over the final month of the season to meet the record. Considering they will lock up the NL West by the middle of September and then secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs soon afterward, the Dodgers will likely have absolutely nothing to play for over the final fortnight. Even if a shot at the wins record mathematically exists at that point, they will likely (and understandably) focus more on getting their stars some rest before the postseason begins. That will lead to a few losses here and there. Members of the 2001 Mariners and the ghosts of the 1906 Cubs can rest easy; the Dodgers won’t be getting to 116.