Who are these Dodgers and what have they done with the prima donnas of years prior?
Playing without the best player in baseball, Los Angeles has maintained a steady pace in the second half by refusing to stoop to San Francisco’s level. And they’ve done it despite a series of injuries that should soon be historical: Twenty-seven Dodgers have been placed on the disabled list, according to ESPN’s Doug Padilla, which is tied for the most ever in a season.
If one more player gets placed on the list — and with more than a month left in the season, that seems likely — the boys in blue will stand alone.
Clayton Kershaw hasn’t pitched since June 26. Scott Kazmir and Brett Anderson are the latest to hit the shelf. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood also are unable to play.
Even the guys they traded for at the deadline are struggling to stay in the lineup. Rich Hill has yet to make his Dodgers debut after being dealt from Oakland (although he’s slated to pitch today against the Giants), and Josh Reddick hasn’t played since Sunday after hurting his finger in a hotel room door, which he was holding for room service.
(“I’m at rock bottom,” the former East Bay fan favorite told the Los Angeles Times. “But I will climb out.”)
Despite these obstacles, Reddick’s team remains far from despondent. They’ll stay in the race for the division until the end, it appears, and they have their young left-side of the infield to thank.
Corey Seager and Justin Turner have been two of the few constants in L.A.’s lineup all season, and the rookie shortstop has a serious case for NL MVP. Before Tuesday’s game, Seager barely trailed Kris Bryant for the lead in fWAR (6.6-6.5), has avoided a second-half dropoff (so far) and defensive metrics love him — all of this despite the fact that he’s 22.
New manager Dave Roberts deserves a good deal of credit, as well, as he’s effectively ushered in this new era of toughness in L.A.
Several questions remain about this season because of the Giants’ horrible stretch of play after the All-Star Break, but the Dodgers’ emergence as a formidable foe should worry Bay Area fans for many years to come.
So you’re saying there’s a chance …
Bettors have been drinking the Even Year Kool-Aid — more tickets at William Hill have picked the Giants to win the World Series than any other team — and, as a result, the team’s odds have marginally improved despite their current funk.
The Giants carried 5/1 odds — behind just the Cubs — on June 28, and they can now be selected at 6/1.
The Cubs remain the favorites at 3/1. The A’s are nearly the opposite of that at 5,000/1.
Now’s your chance to win big, Oakland!