It’s been an interesting year in the National League West to say the least.
As of this writing, the surprising tandem of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies find themselves tied atop the National League Wild Card Race. They currently hold a four-and-a-half game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, and a five game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals. Both have records of 66-53 going into play tonight.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that the Wild Card leaders from the west have no shot at a division title. In fact , the Brewers and Cardinals have more a shot at winning the Central title. Coming into play tonight Milwaukee trails the defending World Champion Cubs by one game, St. Louis trails their arch-rivals from Chicago by a game-and-a-half.
So why are two teams that have had such a stronghold on the National League Wild Card race so far back in their divisional race? The answer resides in the Chavez Ravine section of Los Angeles. The Dodgers currently hold an 18 1/2 game lead over the Diamondbacks and Rockies. Yes, the same two teams that have led the Wild Card pack throughout the season trail the Dodgers by over 18 games.
On June 1st the Dodgers were actually in third place in the division with a record of 33-22. Colorado and Arizona shared the top spot in the division at 34-22. Since June 1st the Dodgers have gone 51-12, by far the hottest team in the Majors. Currently Los Angeles is 50 games over .500 at 84-34. The Dodgers are on pace to win 115 games.
Cody Bellinger has hit 34 home runs and driven in 79 runs.
Perhaps the turning point of this unbelievable Hollywood script came in late April. Due to an injury to Joc Pederson, the Dodgers brought up first baseman Cody Bellinger from AAA Oklahoma City. Since his call-up, Bellinger has been one of baseball’s biggest stories. As of this writing Bellinger is hitting .275, has hit 34 home runs and has 79 RBI’s. Keep in mind Bellinger didn’t get started with the big club until the end of April.
Yu Darvish is 2-0 since being acquired from the Texas Rangers at the trade deadline.
Another new cog in the machine that has taken baseball by storm is Yu Darvish. The veteran starter was acquired from Texas at the trade deadline. All Darvish has done in Dodger blue so far is compile a 2–0 record, and an ERA of 1.50. He has allowed a total of 2 earned runs in 12 innings pitched, and has recorded 20 strikeouts.
The 2001 Seattle Mariners and the 1906 Cubs are tied for the most wins in a single season. The Mariners were a torrid 116-46 in 2001, the Cubs were 116-36 in 1906.
The Mariners record tying season ended with a five game loss to the eventual World Champion Yankees in the American League Championship Series. The Cubs fell to the White Sox in the 1906 World Series.
Can the Dodgers keep up the pace? Is this their year? Can they carry this pace into the post-season unlike the Mariners and Cubs? Stay tuned!