Dodgers: Long Road Trip to Decide the Dodgers 2018 Fate

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on September 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Manny Machado #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the dugout during the seventh inning against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium on September 3, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers are currently 1.5 games back of first place as they kick off their road trip with the Rockies.  How the Dodgers fare on the longest road trip left will go along way in deciding their 2018 fate.

The Dodgers are coming off a very disappointing series in which they lost two of three to one of the worst teams in baseball.  They will need to shake off their frustrations fast as the Dodgers are now starting their longest road trip left this season.  How the Dodgers do in the next ten games will play in a big part in whether they even make the playoffs this year.

After three crucial games in Colorado, the Dodgers then have three games against the Reds, and four games with the Cardinals.  Should the Dodgers struggle on their road trip, they could be facing a hill that’s too steep to climb with only twelve games left following this road trip.  The Dodgers are currently 1.5 back in the NL West and two games back of the last wildcard spot and the Dodgers will play both teams they’re chasing on this road trip.

Even the three games in Cincinnati should not be overlooked. Many thought the Mets series would be easy victories but the Dodgers were handled by Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler and lost the series.  In that bandbox stadium, that the Reds play in, every game is sure to be a high scoring affair.  Sandwiched in between two bigger series, the Dodgers can’t be caught looking ahead to the next series.

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If the Dodgers go at least 6-4 on this road trip they should be set up to win the NL West with three games still remaining against the Rockies and Dbacks.  In order for the Dodgers to have a successful road trip, they will need to be better offensively. Despite adding Manny Machado and Brian Dozier, the Dodgers offense ranks 10th in runs scored since the all-star break.

The Dodgers will also need to hit better with runners in scoring position to have the kind of road trip they need to stay in the playoff hunt.  Out of all MLB teams, the Dodgers rank 23rd in batting average with runners in scoring position.  With the road trip starting out at Coors Field, there isn’t a better place to start to get the offense going once again.

The Dodgers starting pitching will need to continue to keep them in games and the bullpen that has been much better lately will need to keep throwing zeros at the end of games.  The bullpen gets an acid test in Colorado since they will be without the services of Kenley Jansen.

Next. Dodger position battles to watch down the stretch. dark

The Dodgers have the talent to run away with the West but so far they haven’t lived up to their talent.  This ten game road trip is time to put up or shut up for the 2018 Dodgers.  If they collapse during this road trip they won’t have to worry about how they lost the 2017 World Series anymore; instead, they’ll wonder how they missed the postseason.