Dodgers News and Notes – NL West, Kershaw’s Slider, and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the weekend where they started it, still just one game out of first place.

The Dodgers took two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati, and the Atlanta Braves could only muster one win against the San Francisco Giants.

Both teams are off Monday, before starting series against other NL West teams. The Dodgers will be in Colorado for three, and the Giants will be in San Diego to take on the Padres. If the Friars want to have any chance at the postseason, they need to give the Giants everything they have. They are currently 3.5 games out of the Wild Card race, behind the St Louis Cardinals, Reds, and tied with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Clayton Kershaw made his second start since coming off of the injured list on Sunday, going five full innings and throwing 74 pitches. He allowed only three hits, one earned run, and struck out eight. His first two innings looked as much like Vintage Kershaw as we have seen in awhile.

Via Daniel Brim on Twitter, Kershaw has a 16.8% swinging strike rate so far this season, which is the highest of his career. He’s throwing his slider almost 50% of the time also, gathering those swinging strikes. Having a really good Kershaw as the third or fourth starter, should the Dodgers advance in the playoffs, would be a huge advantage for Los Angeles.

The entire pitching staff for the Dodgers has been phenomenal this season. Via Jon Wiseman on Twitter, the Dodgers have the lowest second-half ERA of any NL team in 40 years. The staff has a 2.64 ERA, and a 40-19 record in that span. Craig Minami adds that the Dodgers 137 ERA+ is the lowest since the 1909 Chicago Cubs. This team boast the starter with the most wins in the Majors, Julio Urías with 18, and the MLB leader in ERA, Max Scherzer at 2.08.

Their total team ERA is the only one is the majors under three, at 2.97.

Unfortunately maybe for the Dodgers, is that the next two teams behind them are the Giants and the Milwaukee Brewers, both teams they would have to beat to make it to the World Series (assuming the Brewers beat the NL East winners).

The offense is starting to score more consistently, scoring at least five runs in every game but one in the last eight games. More importantly, the offense has mostly not been reliant on the home run to score.

FanGraphs gives the Dodgers an ever-so-slight edge to win the NL West. The Dodgers have a 50.6% chance, and the Giants 49.4% chance. The Dodgers chances of winning the World Series are much higher than the Giants, however, at 21.0% to 6.1%.

Odds from FanGraph for winning the NL West

The Dodgers definitely have the full roster to do so. Winning the division will make that dream that much easier, but will still be an uphill battle as long as the Giants keep winning. But anything could happen in a season that has seen a bunch of crazy things. Stay tuned.

5 thoughts on “Dodgers News and Notes – NL West, Kershaw’s Slider, and More

  1. Are the Padres all talk and chest-thumping? All Mouth and no bite? We shall see. I think they are shallow and will rollover.
    Mark Pryor deserves a standing O.
    I like this Dodger team in any 7 game series can they get to them?
    As you show the Dodgers are not relying on the HR run ball as much and playing better team ball. Thank you, Trea Turner and CT3 especially. They have a chance to win it all playing that way. With Trea Turner ad Pujos available from the right side this team has been effective against quality left-handed pitching.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Of course they will roll over. There is nothing there but chest thumper, a shortstop and a bunch of has beens. Depleted pitching staff, which if healthy could make them a 500 club. Or did I say this last year? Dodgers are all on their own right now

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I predict……………………………………..that SD will take at least 2 and possibly 3 of their remaining 6 games with SF. Contrary to Gordon’s thoughts, I do not consider Manny, Cronenworth, Pham, Frazier, Nola and Hosmer has beens and Tatis is certainly capable of winning a game on his own. Their pitching is the problem but I’m expecting their hitters to come to life and score runs in big bunches over the next week or two. I hope none of those outbursts happen in the three games against us.

    We need to watch out for the Rox who are throwing 3 pretty good pitchers during the upcoming series, all of whom have had success against us at one time or another. We had better not spend all our time in the dugout looking at the scoreboard from SF and spend some time scoring enough runs to win these games in Denver. They’ve played well since the AS break and we can’t take them for granted.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Baseball is all about pitching and San Diego is fresh out. But I don’t like the Padres and their bluster. Lots of trash talk but no performance except for Tatis who is a legitimate MVP every year.
      I am very concerned with the Rox they have been good as you say since the AS game. Their pitching has improved lately. If we come out of Colorado with 2 wins I will be thrilled. Really hate to be reliant on the Padres putting up a fight. There is still plenty of time but?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 5 Dodgers own Senzatela. Seager has 3 bombs off of the guy. Muncy has one but is only hitting .176 off of him in 17 at bats. Betts has 2 homers off of him and is hitting well over 400. Padres are not going to just roll over. Professional pride has to kick in sometime. Their new pitcher, Velazquez, gets the start tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

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