Nothing ends an L.A. summer day quite like a night under the field lights in Chavez Ravine. Overwhelmed by the Dodger’s 2013 home game schedule? We’ve narrowed down the matchups to our five favorites. Win or lose, these series are can’t-miss
1. Washington Nationals (May 13 to May 15)
There are few teams more exciting than the Nationals this year. They're incredibly young, but manager Davey Johnson has harnessed all that fresh talent into a group that will be contending in the playoffs this postseason. Not only are outfielder Bryce Harper and pitcher Stephen Strasburg must-watch players, the Nationals also feature an elite starting rotation one through five and a lineup that can compete with anyone’s. This is the Nationals' one trip to Dodger Stadium for the remainder of the season, so this series should definitely be fun.
2. San Diego Padres (June 3 to June 5)
Every series the Dodgers play against the Padres this year will provide thorough entertainment. Carlos Quentin's mound charge that relegated Zack Greinke to the disabled list and the ensuing brawl has blood boiling between the two clubs, and neither team is going to forget the chip on its shoulder it has for the other. Ordinarily, fans wouldn't be particularly interested in a 6-15 Padres club, but bear in mind that four of their six wins have come against the Dodgers. Los Angeles will want revenge, and future games should be long on drama.
3. New York Yankees (July 30 to July 31)
With the MLB's new interleague-play schedule, the Yankees might very well be making many more trips to Chavez Ravine, but as it stands, the two teams haven't met since June 2010. They're significantly banged up now, with Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson all out for some time. By the end of July, all are expected to return. This will be a matchup of high-salary firepower, with each team out to establish it’s the better underachieving powerhouse.
4. Boston Red Sox (August 23 to August 25)
Who would have thought that a month into the season the Red Sox of all teams would be leading the stacked American League East? Without a star player to cling to it has been a by-committee effort for Boston, but they have pieced together their hitting and benefited from excellent starting pitching so far from their two young studs, Clay Buchholz (5-0, 1.69 ERA) and Jon Lester (4-0, 2.27). Setup man Koji Uehara and closer Andrew Bailey have been impressively effective at finishing as well.
5. San Francisco Giants (September 12 to September 14)
How could we finish this list without including a series against the Giants? Dodgers-Giants games have a unique energy. This year, the Dodgers are intent on proving to the league that they are contenders. More likely than not, the NL West will be competitive down to its final weeks, and if that's the case, this series will prove integral in sorting out the chaos. The Dodgers slid out of the playoff race in deference to the Giants, who went on to become champions, last September, so they'll want their revenge.