Two game lead with 24 games to play, both for the Dodgers and the Giants. I did a quick look at the schedule remaining, if for nothing else to see if I could contextualize the nervousness I'm feeling.
The Dodgers' remaining off-days are on Sept 4, then a six-game homestand, then another off-day, then a ten-game road trip, then three at home, an off day, and three more at home. It's fair to say that the ten-game road trip, where the Dodgers play at San Francisco, Colorado, and Chicago (the latter for four games at Wrigley Field) is the critical stretch. But put against our off-days, our schedule (starting tomorrow) has consecutive games of 2, 6, 13, and 3.
The Giants have it much easier, from a days-off perspective. Day off Sept 4, then three road games, then a day off, then six home games, three road games, an off-day, then six more road games, and then four home games. The Giants get days off on Sept 4, 8, and 18; they don't have any 13-game stretches (their consecutive games go 2, 3, 9, 10). Much nicer having those days off so easily spaced.
On the flipside, looking at our opponents' winning percentages, our weighted average opponents' winning percentage is only .470; SF's is .485. Not a big deal, but they have a slight disadvantage, marked by three in Detroit (Sept 5-7) and six more games against us. Meanwhile, after we finish with the Nationals on Wednesday, the six against the Giants are the only games we've got against an over-.500 opponent. So that's a benefit, I suppose.
We also have 14 more games at home (and ten on the road), vs. SF's ten at home and 14 on the road. Crazily, this gives us a slightly better weighted average winning percentage as well, as our road record of 43-28 dominates over our home record of 34-33. Should the trends maintain, this should also play in our favor.
I don't know if this makes me feel much better. But at least I've distracted myself with some nervous spreadsheet energy.
Then there's always the argument, "if we go .500 from here on out, the Giants have to play .583 baseball just to tie. Considering they've just rattled off six in a row, it's possible. Damn, I'm nervous again. But if we hold to our .558 winning percentage, that would have us win 13 of our remaining 24--which would mean the Giants would have to play .625 baseball to tie the division.
I'm still nervous.