Important Stretch of Games Await Los Angeles Dodgers

Kirby Lee–USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally found old friend momentum after they topped their divisional rival San Francisco Giants on Monday night. The victory for the Dodgers gives them three consecutive wins for the first time since the first week of the season.

Now, keeping momentum by their side is what’s important for the Blue Crew, who still find themselves eight games out of first place and nine games under .500.

But — and but’s are good when you are in last place– the Dodgers still have hope. It’s still only June. 25, and the Dodgers are in the initial stage of a critical stretch of games that will make or break their season. In other words, excuse the cliché, the time in now for Don Mattingly and company.

There are 19 games remaining in the first half of the season and all but four of them are against their division rivals in the National League West. The other four games are against a struggling Philadelphia Phillies squad this weekend. These next 19 games are a perfect opportunity for the Dodgers to get back in contention for a hopeful playoff push.

The truth is the Dodgers are pretty lucky to still have an opportunity to get back in the race. No team in the NL West has pulled away and all five teams in the division still have hope they can win the West crown. The truth is also that the Dodgers have had their share of bad luck. They have dealt with injuries to big-name players more than any team in the division, but are finally starting to get healthy.

Star center fielder Matt Kemp is expected back this week and left fielder Carl Crawford could be ready just before the All-Star break. It is perfect timing as they head into the most crucial stretch of the season thus far.

Matthew Muench writes about the Los Angeles Dodgers for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewMuench and add him to your network at Google+.

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