Dodgers Look to Increase Division Lead

(Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

With only a couple weeks left in the season, the playoff push is coming down to the stretch. The Dodgers are in a great position with a 30-12 record and dibs on the top National League seed, despite dropping their first series this past weekend against the Colorado Rockies with former Dodger Matt Kemp hitting a game-winning homer.

The Dodgers lead the second-place Padres by 4.5 games and are six games ahead of the Braves. There is a mix of teams for that eighth seed—that team would face Los Angeles in the first round barring the Dodgers hold on to the first seed. The team currently in that eighth spot is the Marlins, but the Giants, Rockies, Brewers, and Mets all loom closely.

The Dodgers and Padres will face off in San Diego in a three-game series next week, if the Padres continue to hang around within five games that series will definitely be one to hold your breath for.

The newly adapted three-game series playoff format is quite frustrating from the perspective of a fan especially with a team like the Dodgers since they’re one of the top contenders. As we saw a team like the Rockies who are lurking around that eighth spot took a three-game series from the Dodgers. However, teams with better pitching would present a harder matchup for the Dodgers especially in a short series.

The ballclub looks to get healthy missing players like Joe Kelly, Justin Turner, and Pedro Baez for that playoff push. Some players will look to showcase their abilities for a spot on the postseason roster. On Tuesday morning the Dodgers recalled right-handed pitcher Josh Sborz and placed Joc Pederson on the paternity list.

Tuesday night will mark the beginning of a three-game road series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The two teams played last week in Los Angeles with the Dodgers sweeping a three-game series. Madison Bumgarner is set to face the Dodgers for the first time as a member of the Diamondbacks in the last game of the series.

Arizona is in last place, 15 games out of first place and is the only team in the National League West out of playoff contention. The Dodgers are 6-1 this season against the Diamondbacks and that one loss was a tough one in the late innings.

The probable Dodger starters for the series are Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May. These three can very well be the starters for the opening series of the playoffs, maybe just reshuffling the order in which they pitch.

Buehler will face the Diamondbacks for his second straight start. He looks to shut them down again as he pitched five scoreless innings while allowing two hits and striking out six in his last start against them.

Buehler, after struggling a bit early, has looked in more of a groove over his last few starts, as his ERA is now down to 3.60. The Dodgers will face right-hander Luke Weaver, who’s 1-6 with a 7.44 ERA. Weaver faced the Dodgers last week and allowed two runs over 5.1 innings.

Tuesday’s first pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. Pacific.

7 thoughts on “Dodgers Look to Increase Division Lead

  1. If they cannot beat the depleted D-Backs, they have some splainin to do. The D-Backs are in a huge tailspin. They are not getting great pitching, and their hitters are not nearly as good as they have been in prior seasons. The Dodgers as a team have hit 44 more HR’s than Az, and their BA is 20 points higher. They are second in team pitching and Az is 22nd. They should sweep these guys, head home for a day off, and then two with the Asstros.

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  2. Depending upon which team actually winds up as the 8th seed, we might actually be better off finishing second so that we could play the 7 seed. There are going to be some angry fans in some cities this year as it’s very unlikely that the two best teams actually wind up competing in the World Series.

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  3. Someone painted a mural of Joe Kelly making a face at the Astros on a building in Silver Lake. Neverette was going to go out and see it today. LA is weirder than ever.

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    1. LA may be weird but long after Joe Kelly is gone from the Dodger roster, that face which Kelly made will be a meme that everyone recognizes and will probably be reproduced on all kinds of things. Now at least we’ll have a permanent reminder.

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      1. We are going to need Joe Kelly and his one inning to get this done. A healthy Baez would be of help as well. We are going to need Buehler and May to pitch 5+ innings. We will need Muncy and Bellinger to be hitting for a successful October run and we will need the defense to tighten up.

        That’s a lot of need. If this team continues to play like they have of late they won’t succeed against the better teams they will see in the playoffs. The finish: Houston is 2-8, with 2 straight losses. We should beat them. Then San Diego, Colorado and Oakland. Hopefully we’ve got our collective head and ass wired together by then.

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