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The Dodgers biggest strength going for them right now is that their starting pitching has been very good all season even with their toll of injuries. The Dodgers rank 2nd in MLB with a 3.23 ERA by their starting pitchers, and they are kept in almost every game due to their strong rotation. The Dodgers rotation has been spearheaded by Walker Buehler who has been ace-like since his return from the DL.
Clayton Kershaw has also been pitching effectively since the all-star break despite a declining fastball that tops out around 91 miles per hour now. Kershaw has taken a Rich Hill type approach and is now throwing more off-speed pitches than fastballs. Speaking of Rich Hill, he has an ERA under 2.60 in the second half of the season and pitched another solid game last night.
Hyun-Jin Ryu and Alex Wood have also returned from the disabled list recently, and while each of their last starts were mediocre, they will be important to the team’s chances the rest of the way. The Dodgers strong starting pitching will help their bullpen out as well since Kenta Maeda has already shifted to the bullpen and Ross Stripling will soon return from the disabled list.
The Dodgers will likely enter the final month still chasing the Rockies and Dbacks by a few games but the NL West hopes for the Dodgers are far from over. If the Dodgers start delivering with runners in scoring position, take advantage of a favorable schedule, and continue their strong starting pitching, then the Dodgers will win their sixth straight NL West division title.