With a record approaching historic records over the last 50 games, the Los Angeles Dodgers are beginning to look like the exciting and talented team that everyone expected once their new owners took over. After several high priced acquisitions started to click, and a sensational rookie by the name of Yasiel Puig joined their ranks, the Dodgers are the strongest team is baseball and the front-runners for the 2013 World Series. Is there any hope left for the other contenders?
Of course there is. Pushing the odds against the Los Angeles Dodgers is the fact that they haven’t been to the MLB Playoffs since 2009. But that’s about it. Right now the talent on this team is pretty incredible, and whether or not they win it all this year, the Dodgers will become a familiar team in playoff baseball come every October.
Their starting pitching is formidable. Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu are all pitching very well and each have over 10 wins on the season. Relief pitching has been solid, and incoming closer Brian Wilson could figure into the mix in the latter stages of the season.
But the most exciting part of the Dodgers has been the hitting. Yasiel Puig has been sensational and may figure to become the premier hitting talent of the new generation. His .352 average is among the best in the majors, and his power makes him one of the most dangerous players on the field. His call-up provoked this incredible run for the Dodgers, and he is the heart and soul of the team and its fans. That’s a lot of pressure for any 22-year-old rookie, but so far Puig has carried the team along with confidence and brilliant play. His defensive work is also first rate in the outfield. He can carry this team far.
Other hitters have also picked up steam for the Dodgers, including Hanley Ramirez. Although injured for the first half of the season, Ramirez has returned and put up similar numbers to Puig. With two dominant power-hitting players, the Dodgers lineup is menacing.
The rest of the team is solid as well. Adrian Gonzalez is a near .300 hitter while up and down the lineup are capable players that hit in the upper .200’s. This makes the team quite solid and well prepared even if Puig stutters in the playoffs due to nerves or the cold weather. The talent is well spread throughout the lineup to handle any potential opponents.
So is there any reason to feel that the Dodgers won’t be rumbling and bouncing their way along to the World Series? Surely, October baseball brings about drama and will have its stern tests ahead for the Dodgers. They aren’t the only team with a great record. The Atlanta Braves are solid, as are the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the St. Louis Cardinals; and those teams are all in for the NL Pennant! But no one is hotter than the Dodgers right now, and I get the feeling that they aren’t slowing down any time soon. It will be a joy to see what baseball’s most exciting team will bring to the MLB Playoffs this year!
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