Dodgers: Three storylines to watch after clinching the division
Will Ryu and Bellinger finish strong in their hunt for the Cy Young and NL MVP?
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At the All-Star break, Hyun-Jin Ryu led MLB with an ERA of 1.73. In the second half he has struggled to replicate that success, posting ERA’s of 7.48 and 6.23. His ERA now stands at 2.45 which is just 11 points better than Max Scherzer who has an ERA of 2.56. Braves’ rookie Mike Soroka and Jacob deGrom are also in the running.
After getting some time off to reset and fight fatigue, Ryu will return to the rotation on Saturday against the Mets. The Mets are in the hunt for the second NL wild card spot so it will be good postseason prep for Ryu and the Dodgers. Ryu currently stands as the Dodgers’ probable game one starter for the postseason but that could change if his struggles continue.
Cody Bellinger is another Dodger chasing a National League award, with his hunt being for the NL MVP. Yelich is now out of the race but Bellinger will have a tough time fighting off Ronald Acuna Jr, Anthony Rendon, Pete Alonso and others if his own skid continues. Bellinger hit well above .300 for most of the season but he now sits at .303.
Bellinger trails Alonso by three home runs and ranks 9th in RBI’s. The one boost for Belli is that he is a gold glove caliber fielder at each position he plays, which has been centerfield, right field, and first base. Cody is hitting just .219 in September and has an OPS below .800 for the first time this season. He needs a strong finish to become the Dodgers’ first position player to win the award since 1988.