By Jon Weisman
A fast start isn’t essential for winning the World Series, but it does correlate with success.
Since the Dodgers’ last World Series title in 1988, only three Fall Classic champions have been below .500 at the end of April, none since 2003 and none by more than two games.
The Dodgers’ don’t have an easy path in April. They play six ’nuf said games against the defending champs from San Francisco, six more against the Padres that will be fraught with tension, and three at home against the Mariners, who according to Fangraphs project to have the best record in the American League.
Their remaining six April games are against the rebuilding Diamondbacks and Rockies, the latter three at home.
Below are charts showing how World Series champions have fared at various stages of the season since 1988, and the Dodgers’ performance in that time.