At 11-14, the Los Angeles Dodgers are trailing the NL West leading, San Diego Padres. The Padres has scored 117 runs and have given up 84, resulting in a +33 run differential. The Dodgers have scored more runs that the friars with 131 runs, however, they’ve also given up more runs. The Dodgers have given up a total of 133 runs, and as a result, the team’s ERA is now ranked 11th in the NL (4.61). While the pitching staff has struggled for most of the season, the Dodgers are riding a three game winning streak.
The Dodgers hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 3.07 ERA), in the hopes that he can extend the winning streak to four games. Kershaw will be backed by one the NL’s most productive offenses, and should receive enough support from the likes of Andre Either, who is off to a remarkable start. Either, who leads the team in all major offensive categories (.365 avg., 9 HR, 26 RBIs, 1.161 OPS), is by far one of the bright young OFs in the NL. Along with Either, the Dodgers have Matt Kemp, who is also off to a great start for LA. Kemp is batting .288/.350/.548 with 7 HR and 20 RBIs, and should have a shot at a 30/30 type season.
As a team, the Dodgers are hitting .280 (1st NL), and are 4th in bothOBP (.348) and SLG (.442). The hot-hitting Dodgers will host the Milwaukee Brewers tonight, and will look to continue their winning ways against Brewers pitcher, Chris Narveson (1-0, 6.60 ERA).
While the Dodgers are indeed playing better, they still face an up-hill battle in their quest to repeat as division champs in 2010. San Francisco (14-10) has an even better pitching staff than San Diego. Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito, Matt Cain and Jonathan Sanchez are all playing well and have the Giants’ ERA under three (2.72). The Dodgers will need more from their rotation (Chad Billingsley) and bullpen. If the Dodgers pitching does not get better as a whole, it will be difficult for the boys in blue to repeat as division champs this year.