Second Place: Los Angeles Dodgers: 22-16 (1.5)
The boys in blue had a relatively successful week last week going 5-2 including their second series sweep of the season after outscoring the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates 21-6. Even though the Dodgers had a good week on paper, I can help but feel this was a letdown week for the Dodgers.
Heading into a weekend four-game series against the first place Colorado Rockies, the Dodger whiffed on the opportunity to regain position at the top of the standings. The Dodgers ended up with a series split, but you can’t help but look into the two very poor outings by Hyun-Jin Ryu and Julio Urias.
While you never want to read too much into any individual starts, especially at Coors Field, it was really discouraging to see two starters that were trending in the right direction get rocked for 5 + runs. While the Dodgers had a pair of bad starts, the team also had a couple of good starts from Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood.
Alex Wood leading the team to 6 scoreless innings, including ten strikeouts. For the week, Alex Wood went 2-0 with 11 innings pitched and 21 strikeouts. That production was good enough for NL player of the week. Wood became the second Dodger this season to take home the honors and has really made a case for staying in the starting rotation once Rich Hill returns from the DL.
Leading the way offensively for the Dodgers was Yasmani Grandal. Grandal hit .591 with 8 RBI and one home run. Grandal has collected 13 hits his last six games and has a .909 slugging percentage. Grandal’s hot week raised his batting average to .292 on the season, and he’s tied for fourth on the team with 17 RBI on the year. Those are some pretty eye-opening numbers for Grandal as last season his average flirted with the Mendoza line all year long.
Some honorable mentions for the Dodgers offensive player of the week are Chase Utley and Austin Barnes. Utley had his best week of the season and hit .471 with 5 RBI during that span. His batting average is still below .200 on the season, but it’s encouraging to see Utley get going after a slow start to the season. He was able to collect four extra-base hits, including a pair of triples, so I think playing every day has clearly been helping his smooth out his timing.
The Dodgers we’re able to inch close to the Rockies at first and passed the Diamondbacks along the way. They still sit at second, however, so their work is still not done. I’d expect to see the Dodgers in first place by the end of May.