The Los Angeles Dodgers have been a certified wrecking crew, winning 15 of their last 19 games dating back to the trade deadline. Again, if not for the San Francisco Giants, this would be MLB’s best team.
Oh yeah, about the NL West … remember how the San Diego Padres were supposed to be a thorn in the Dodgers’ side? They kind of were at the beginning of the year, but then the Dodgers restored order and have opened up a 10.5-game lead on the Pads, who have gone 8-12 since the deadline.
That’s included series losses to the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Phillies. They’ve failed to score more than eight runs in a single contest over their last 20 games facing inferior teams. Their starting rotation is in shambles. They just fired their pitching coach.
Now is the time for the Dodgers to completely bury their nearby rivals so they can officially focus on catching the Giants, whom they trail by 2.5 games for the division lead.
It’s time for the Dodgers to bury the Padres and go for the NL West crown.
A sweep here isn’t out of the question whatsoever. The Dodgers have Julio Urias going on Tuesday, Walker Buehler on Wednesday and Max Scherzer on Thursday … while the Padres are countering with Ryan Weathers (5.27 ERA), Blake Snell (4.82 ERA) and TBD. At this juncture, Joe Musgrove is the Padres’ only non-injured competent starter and he won’t see the Dodgers in this series.
Even better for LA? They’re running into San Diego at the perfect time. The Dodgers and their lights-out pitching have allowed just 51 runs since July 31. That’s an average of 2.68 per game.
San Diego, amid their current slump which has featured nine losses in their last 11 contests, has scored just 37 runs, which is good for a gross 3.36 average.
If the Pads have gone radio silent against some of the worst pitching staffs in the league, what makes anybody think they’ll be able to survive the Dodgers’ three best starters and recently-dominant bullpen?
There’s always Murphy’s Law, but it’s hard to even imagine these teams trading places right now because they’re headed in completely different directions.
In an unforeseen turn of events, the Dodgers likely don’t have to worry about the Padres for the rest of the 2021 season, especially if they stomp them out this week. That would put San Diego 13.5 games back of LA and only give them the opportunity to play spoiler down the stretch.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers will close out the final month or so of action against the Rockies (6 games), Braves (3), Giants (3), Cardinals (4), Padres (6), Diamondbacks (6), Reds (3) and Brewers (3). That’s a friendly schedule to make up the needed ground to get back on top of the division, and demoralizing the Padres right now can really make the final six contests against them even more of a breeze.