The Dodgers Take First Place

It has been an absolute grind of a baseball season for the injury plagued Los Angeles Dodgers who still are without Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May (out for the year). They recently just got the entire offense back together after having Betts, Seager, Bellinger (worst player in the league), T. Turner (COVID protocol) and things have been looking up. Last night, for the first time in over three months the Dodgers took control of the NL West from the San Francisco Giants. There were moments throughout the season where the Dodgers trailed by 7.5 games and they have stayed resilient.

Now, we can’t pop the champagne just yet but to have the division lead as they head to San Francisco for a three game lead is exactly what I thought this team needed. The Dodgers are 22-6 in their last 28 games and have eliminated a 5.5 game deficit in three weeks. The Giants were swept by the Brewers while the Dodgers swept the Braves, potentially the four out of five National League playoff teams. This upcoming weekend series won’t end the division race by any means but it could play a major role in how this shakes out. Obviously a Dodgers sweep would demoralize the giants and put the Boys in Blue in a 3.5 game lead while handing the Giants back to back sweeps. That’s probably a lot to ask for but a man can dream. The Giants catch a lucky break and avoid Scherzer but all signs point to Urias on Saturday and Buehler on Sunday, each forgoing one day of rest and starting on 4 days rest for this series.

The pitching hasn’t been the concern for the Dodgers, it’s been the offense and there have been some gaping holes in the lineup of late. Guys who have had great seasons like Chris Taylor and Max Muncy have been in big slumps, although Muncy slowly came out of that against the Braves hitting two jumbo-jacks but the guy who has been dreadful has been Cody Bellinger. Dodgers announced that he would most likely not start against left handed pitchers moving forward and it makes since because AJ Pollock is having a phenomenal season, Mookie Betts is Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor although struggling lately has been far more productive than Bellinger. Look, I have been hard on Bellinger but in my opinion, lately, the last 10 days he has had more productive at-bats than Taylor and just from a pure intimidation factor and defensively, I don’t know if Taylor is the sure fire answer over Bellinger. I know Bellinger has been terrible but there have been glimpses of clutch hits, not many home runs, but there have been clutch hits in the Mets, Braves and Padres series and that is more than Chris Taylor can say lately.

This series is going to be intense, it’s September but there will be no mistaking the October atmosphere. It’s a weekend filled with college football and pennant race baseball, you can’t beat that if you tried. My prediction is that if the Dodgers can score four runs a game in this series then the brooms will be coming out. That has been the Dodgers recipe for success all season long, score 4 runs, you win the game 9 out of 10 times. Randy, IM FEELING IT BABY!!!! CUE THE MUSIC!!!!