The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of a contentious playoff chase that is attracting the attention of the entire baseball world.
They are in a tightly contested battle for the NL West with the Colorado Rockies, and there’s no guarantee that the loser will be rewarded with a consolation prize of one of the wildcard spots.
Heading into Wednesday’s, the Dodgers hold a 1.5 game advantage over the Rockies in the NL West.
While the lead is certainly minuscule, the Dodgers can take comfort in the fact that it’s the biggest lead they’ve held in the division since July 28.
There are just 10 games left in the regular season for the Dodgers, and the NL playoff picture is still amazingly unsettled.
While the top priority is team success, it’s also important to take a moment and really reflect on the impressive individual seasons these Dodgers players have had.
In the final 10 games, there are some important statistics to monitor regarding career-best numbers and in some cases vying for position on league leaderboards.
Manny Machado is concluding what might end up being his most impressive regular season output in an exemplary career. He’s sitting three home runs away from setting a new career high in that category. His previous career best was 37 homers back in 2016. He ranks tied for sixth in the Majors in that category as of September 18, and while he’s not going to catch the leader, he could very well end up in the Top 5.
Machado is also one RBI away from totaling a career-best 97 RBIs this season. He ranks 12th in the Majors in that category as of September 18, and he’s within striking distance of a top 10 finish. He also ranks tied for 5th in the Majors in hits with 175, which as of September 18 is seven behind the leader Freddie Freeman. He has a chance to climb the leaderboard in that category these final 10 games.
Machado’s BA as of September 18 is .298, which is surpassing his previous career best of .294 he registered back in 2016. His OBP as of September 18 is .369, which tops his previous career best of .359 back in 2015. Machado’s SLG as of September 18 is .539, which bests his previous career-high of .533 from 2016.
Machado’s not the only Dodgers hitter who is on the verge of setting career marks in crucial statistics or has the chance to move up league leaderboards.
Max Muncy has been one of the remarkable surprises of this season, is tied for 13th in the Majors with 33 home runs as of September 18. He could certainly finish the season somewhere in the Top 10.
As of September 18, Justin Turner has a career-high OBP by .03 and career-high SLG by .01, and a strong final 10 games could see him maintain those razor-thin margins.
Yasiel Puig needs just one more steal to set a career high in that category. He’s 15 for 20 in stolen base attempts thus far, which is also a career-best steal percentage for him. All of this is made more impressive by the fact his previous 15 steal output was in his 152 game campaign of 2017.
Joc Pederson is three doubles away from setting a new career-high in that category. Pederson’s BA as of September 18 is .251, which surpasses his career best of .246 in 2016. Pederson’s SLG as of September 18 is .518, which surpasses his previous career pinnacle of .495 back in 2016. He could certainly finish the season with personal bests in those categories.
Yasmani Grandal needs six RBIs to set a new career high for himself with 73 RBIs. A couple solid games and that can be achieved.
Chris Taylor needs two doubles to set a new career high with 35, and that’s very possible over the course of these final 10 games.
Beyond the obvious prize of the NL West crown, there are other important accomplishments for these players to chase these last 10 games.
These final 10 games are really poised to be the true test of whether the Dodgers are deserving of an NL playoff spot. It’s going to be quite a finish to this 2018 regular season.