I've Got My Eye On The Dodgers
DIRECT FROM NEVADA WITH NICK BOGDANOVICH
LA DODGERS KEY A BOARD SWEEP, POSSIBLY READY TO MAKE A MOVE
I had the LA Dodgers as one of my BEST BETS this past Tuesday Night in a 4-2 victory at San Francisco. Now that they've made it past their brutal Interleague schedule that featured the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels (6 games), and Tigers, I think the Dodgers are ready to regain their spot at the top of the NL West standings.
Why do I say that? Look at the record of games within the division this year (through Wednesday afternoon's finals).
NL WEST (divisional games only)
LA Dodgers 21-5
San Diego 15-13
San Francisco 8-17
In the era of unbalanced schedules, you have to win your divisional games to win your division. Well, you at least have to hold your own. Losing creates such a big hole that you can't climb out of it (as San Francisco is learning). When this group plays each other, the Dodgers have been completely dominant. That HAS to mean something.
It's a shame that LA had such an unfair schedule this year. Everyone spent some time with the tough AL East. Only the Dodgers drew SIX games against a tough AL foe though (the crosstown Angels). San Diego's "rival" is struggling Seattle. San Francisco's "rival" is slumping Oakland. Colorado and Arizona don't have rivals, so it's more of a buffet for them. The Dodgers certainly got the short end of the stick this year, and pretty much always will as long as the Angels are good.
Let's look at the NL West standings if you take out Interleague games.
NL West (vs. NL only, through Tuesday)
LA Dodgers 39-24
San Diego 37-26
San Francisco 33-29
The Dodgers stay in first place, enjoying a slight lead over the Padres, and a bit more distance ahead of San Francisco and Colorado. Because of IL play, the Dodgers are a few games behind the Padres, and in a dogfight with those other teams just to hang within distance of the Wildcard picture.
We'll reach the midway point of the season this weekend. So, there's plenty of time for the Dodgers to make up for lost games. If they keep up that furious "in division" pace, they can actually coast to the NL West pennant. It's hard to do THAT because nobody wins such a high percentage all the time. I do have my eye on the Dodgers though.
- This is a very good team that's better than the market and the public realizes.
- They have a chip on their shoulder after losing so much to AL powers. I think you saw that in the sweep of the Giants.
- They have a veteran manager and veteran players who know how to pace themselves.
- They're starting to get some injured players back on the field.
- San Diego and San Francisco are still too young to be trusted in a pennant race, while Colorado has been battling inconsistency.
You should have your eye on the Dodgers too. I'm not saying they'll win every night. I'll be picking my spots at value prices. Dodgers fans have to be pleased that a favorable schedule is coming up:
At lowly Arizona this weekend
Versus struggling Florida after that
Versus the fading Chicago Cubs after Florida
Then it's the All-Star Break! Hey Dodgers, if you can't do some damage against the D-backs, Marlins, and Cubs, you don't deserve to be on top of your division!
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