At 62-60, the Los Angeles Dodgers sit 12 games back of the first-place San Diego Padres in the National League West. In short, it just hasn’t been the Dodgers’ year this season, as the Padres have quietly become the surprise team of the year. Heading into this season, many predicted it would be the Dodgers and Rockies duking it out until the end, but neither the Rockies or Dodgers have played exceptionally well this season. Colorado is trailing San Diego by 11 games. But with the month coming to a close, the Dodgers are looking for ways to get back on track and in the thick of things out west.
The team currently ranks 14th in all of baseball with a .259 average, and 26th in home runs with 84. The offense has not been up to par, especially considering the quick starts experienced by both Andre Either and Matt Kemp. Either, who was off to a blazing start, has come down to Earth a bit. Entering Friday, Either has a .300/.364/.509 line along with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs. And while those numbers are still impressive, the Dodgers as a team, have been extremely inconsistent both offensively and defensively this season. The Dodgers’ pitching staff hasn’t been anything special this season, and currently ranks 16th in ERA (4.06). Chad Billingsley and Clayton Kershaw have performed decent this season, but the Dodgers have not gotten the most out of their two young stars. Unfortunately for LA, San Diego’s pitching staff has been much more consistent, which is the main reason why the friars lead the NL West. Despite lacking a powerful or even remotely terrifying offensive attack, the Padres’ 3.16 team ERA (best in baseball) is indicative of what kind of team they are. They’ve built their team around their pitching, and they’ve managed to get by with two or three runs a game.
The Dodgers, well, they’re a different story. In fact, it may be too late for the Dodgers. What figured to be at least a three team race between the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants during the offseason, has become a one-team show featuring the Padres. If the Dodgers are to make any noise for the remainder of the season, they’ll have to be a little more consistent on both offense and defense.