The best team in baseball keeps getting better as the Los Angeles Dodgers push their win streak to nine.
The Dodgers headed into the All-Star break with the best record in baseball thanks to lights out pitching and endless firepower from their bats. Since the start of the second half of the season, L.A. has picked up right where it left off with a sweep of the Miami Marlins.
The Dodgers took care of the Marlins the same way they’ve been winning all season. They score a lot of runs when they’re hot, their pitchers keep the game close when they’re not and when they’re down they’re never out. In L.A.’s first game post All-Star break the Dodgers found themselves down 4-3 against the Marlins at the top of the ninth. They were down to one out and Yasiel Puig found himself down to one strike before slamming a three-run blast over the center wall to put the Dodgers up 6-4. Puig’s 18th HR deflated Miami and sealed the deal for L.A.
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L.A. followed that up with a 7-1 blowout of the Marlins Saturday behind a cycle from the Dodgers rookie sensation Cody Bellinger. Bellinger leads L.A. in HRs with 26 on the season and is also the Dodgers’ RBI leader at 61.
Sunday’s game against Miami would be a tighter affair, but with Rich Hill on the mound L.A. would survive 3-2 to complete the sweep.
What L.A. has going this year feels special and goes beyond the power hitting of Puig and Bellinger. Multiple Dodgers are having great hitting seasons and their depth and versatility give them almost no weaknesses. Corey Seager is the team leader in batting average (.296), OBP (.394) and hits (92) and is third for the team in HRs with 14 on the season. But it’s not just Bellinger, Puig and Seager lighting it up at the plate. Justin Turner, Chris Taylor and Yasmani Grandal all have 10 or more homers this year.
Add in L.A.’s pitching staff and you’ve got a team destined to make a deep playoff run. Clayton Kershaw leads the National League in wins at 14-2 on the season and Alex Wood is a stifling 11-0. When it comes to closing, Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen is second in the NL with 23 saves this season.
With success comes high expectations and although there is plenty of baseball left to play, L.A. shows no signs of slowing down. The Dodgers have good chances of making it all the way to the World Series according to Las Vegas and the way they’re playing anything less would be a major let down for fans.