At the beginning of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were viewed as one of the heavy favorites not only in the NL, but in all of baseball. After a slow start saw the Dodgers fall far behind and even lose ace Clayton Kershaw for a period of time, L.A. is now playing like the heavy favorites that were projected to be. Not too long ago, the San Francisco Giants were cruising and had an 8.5 game lead on the Dodgers. Just a few days later, it is the Dodgers leading the AL West by themselves as the month of June comes to an end.
With their solid play recently, the Dodgers now own the fourth-best record in the league with an impressive winning road record to couple that. While there are still a ton of games to be played, especially head-to-head with the Giants, the Dodgers are rounding into form very similar to last season after that slow start resulted into the call-up of young phenom Yasiel Puig and coasting to the division title.
What has really sparked the Dodgers has been the pitching rotation. Josh Beckett has seen a resurgence this year. He and Kershaw currently own two of the three no-hitters pitched this season. After yet another one-hitter spun by the staff, L.A. now has the second-best staff ERA.
The Dodgers will be a team to keep an eye on as the trade deadline gets closer as well. It is no secret that L.A. has deep pockets, so if they feel the need to add a piece, the Dodgers will add a piece or two. Matt Kemp has elevated his game as well. On offense, whether it is Puig, Kemp or someone else, big hits are starting to be piled up also. The winning combination of pitching and timely hitting is the recipe that has propelled the Dodgers to the top of the standings and starting to finally play like the early season favorites that they once were. Some immortal words can also describe it as “they are who we thought they were.”
Nick Schaeflein is a Sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.
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