Beware of the Boys in Blue
By: Cory Vest
Bearing boisterous bats and potent pitching, the boys in blue are powering past the MLB. Led by the clever and crafty Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ pitching staff is dominating. Cody Bellinger is blasting bombs while Justin Turner is tallying up the hits. They’re a force to be reckoned with; that LA metro continues to pick up steam and passengers aboard won’t be getting off until there is a ring on their finger.
Competing in what is currently the best division in baseball, the Dodgers have a double-digit stranglehold on first place in the NL West. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies have been playing outstanding ball; in fact, as it currently stands, both the Diamondbacks and the Rockies would be in first place in three other divisions. Unfortunately for them, the Dodgers own the best record in baseball and are 30-4 in their past 34 games, a franchise best for the given span.
The Dodgers have rattled off 10 straight wins after defeating the White Sox on July 18th. The current win streak marks the second time this season the Dodgers have strung together a 10 game winning streak. It all makes sense when you take a peek at the stats.
The pitching staff of the Dodgers currently sits atop the league in ERA. The Dodgers are allowing 3.09 runs. The D-backs sit second in the league, their team ERA is 3.49. The Dodgers have allowed just 289 hits. Need another number for comparison? The Cleveland Indians have allowed the second fewest hits in baseball, 344. Don’t expect to go yard on the Dodgers either. The Dodgers have allowed the fewest home runs in the league at 92. A free pass? Maybe the staff will throw you a bone and walk you. Not likely, the Dodgers have walked 246 batters, fewest in the league. The Dodgers sit second in the league in strikeouts with 907.
Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’, nay the league’s, ace. With a 15-2 record and 2.07 ERA, Kershaw owns a 10-game win streak of his own. Alex Wood has refused to take a back seat to Kershaw however as he has reeled off 11 straight wins. When Kershaw is paired with a pitcher sporting an 11-0 record and 1.56 ERA, it becomes a deadly duo. Get beyond the starting rotation and you enter one of the best bullpens in baseball. The Dodgers’ bullpen has a record of 18-8 and a 2.92 ERA. Survive the starter, resist the relievers, here comes the closer. Kenley Jansen is 24 for 24 in saves. Good luck.
Hoping to get into a pitcher’s duel with the Dodgers? The Dodgers have scored the fifth most runs in baseball. Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, and Chris Taylor can create problems at the plate. Turner has the highest average of the bunch, highest in the MLB for that matter, batting .370. Bellinger provides the bump with 26 big flies and 62 RBIs. Seager and Taylor both hover around a .300 average. Seager has 14 dingers with 46 RBIs while Taylor has 10 homers and 38 RBIs. Sprinkle in a solid supporting cast capable of contributing in a variety of ways and the Dodger lineup becomes awfully dangerous.