Dodgers streaking, Yankees sliding

The New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers play their second series of the season tonight after a doubleheader on June 19.

At the time of that first matchup, the Dodgers were in last place in the NL West and 10 games under .500 while the Yankees were just 3½ games behind the Red Sox in the AL East.

Since the teams split their doubleheader, they have gone in opposite directions, with the Dodgers skyrocketing to the top of the division and the Yankees falling further out of the playoff race.

Dodgers on a roll

The Dodgers actually hit bottom on June 21 after two straight losses to the San Diego Padres which dropped them to a season-worst 12 games under .500 (30-42). Their 26-6 record starting on June 22 is not only the best in the majors since then, but it’s a full seven games better than any other team in the NL.

Dodgers and Yankees Since June 20

It is also the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles that the Dodgers have won 26 times in a 32-game span.

The last time they had a stretch this good was in 1953 when the team was in Brooklyn… a year that ended with a loss to the Yankees in the World Series.

With an 18-5 (.783) July record and two games remaining this month, the Dodgers have a chance to post the second-best record in a calendar month in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Their only month with a higher winning percentage since 1958 was a 17-3 (.850) mark in April 1977… a year that also ended with a loss to the Yankees in the World Series.

Yankees falling fast

Speaking of the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers have gone a mediocre 16-18 since June 20 with three losing streaks of at least three games in that span.

At 55-50 for the season, this is the 34th time in franchise history that the Yankees have had at least 50 losses through their first 105 games of the season and the first time since 1995. That 1995 season is the only time they made the playoffs with a record this poor through 105 games.

The Yankees did welcome back Derek Jeter on Sunday, after he missed 103 of the team’s first 104 games. What does the Captain’s presence mean to the team?

The Yankees are 2-0 with Jeter in the lineup this season and 1,549-1,036 when he plays during his career. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, his personal winning percentage of .599 is the highest among active players (1,500 games).

On the mound

Andy Pettitte is starting for the Yankees tonight, looking to build on his two-run, six-inning effort in his most recent start on July 24 vs the Texas Rangers. Pettitte is 2-0 vs the Dodgers in five career starts, the only team he is undefeated against in his career.

The Dodgers send Zack Greinke to the mound, who will try to improve upon his 6.45 career ERA vs the Yankees. That is his worst ERA vs any team he has faced more than two times.