The Dodgers are in great position to win the NL West following their sweep of the Rockies. That said, there is still work to be done to win the division.
The Dodgers are riding high following a big three game sweep of the Colorado Rockies. Although the Dodgers have a comfortable 2.5 game lead with nine games remaining, they cannot let their foot off the gas pedal yet. The Padres are going to play the Dodgers tough and cannot be overlooked.
Tonight the Dodgers will face Eric Lauer who has dominated the Dodgers in two starts this season. In July, Lauer came within an out of a complete game shutout against the Dodgers. Back in May, Lauer pitched six shutout innings against the Dodgers. While the Dodger lineup looks a bit different now, Lauer still will be a tough test for the Dodgers.
If the Dodgers have learned anything this month, they will not take the Padres lightly after losing four of six to the Mets and Reds. The Dodgers seem to be locked in now and this will need to continue until the division is clinched. Anything less than two of three against the Padres would be a big failure and possibly let the Rockies inch closer to first place.
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- Walker Buehler continues to dominate in his first (somewhat) full season with the Dodgers. Buehler became the youngest Dodger pitcher to record double digit strikeouts in a game since Clayton Kershaw who beat Buehler by a year as he did it when he was just 23 years old. Buehler has already emerged as the Dodgers number two starter.
- Rich Hill’s start tonight against the Padres is a big one as Hill continues to struggle in September. Despite a 3-0 record, Hill has a 6.75 ERA this month and is in a battle to be the Dodgers fourth playoff starter with Ross Stripling. Both pitchers are making one of their final two auditions this weekend.
- Quietly, Caleb Ferguson has emerged into one of the Dodgers’ better relievers this season. Sporting a 7-1 record as a reliever, Ferguson has posted a 2.23 ERA and limited opposing batters to a .236 average out of the pen. Ferguson should be a lock for the Dodgers’ potential postseason bullpen.
- Tim Locastro made waves last season about being a big weapon off the Dodgers’ playoff roster as a pinch runner who could steal a big base when needed. Although he didn’t make the roster, Locastro could once again get some hype for the playoff roster as he has three stolen bases in his last seven games as a Dodger. He will likely get squeezed out but he could get mentioned once again.