Posted on: August 17, 2023, 10:30h.
Last updated on: August 17, 2023, 10:30h.
The surging Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball right now with a 10-game winning streak and the best record in baseball since the MLB trade deadline.
The Dodgers are 14-1 in August since they made four key additions prior to the trade deadline. They brought back two veterans — utilityman Enrique Hernandez and relief pitcher Mike Kelly — who were a part of their World Series champion team from 2020.
The Dodgers also acquired Lance Lynn to bolster the starting rotation, and added shortstop Amed Rosario to strengthen the defense up the middle.
With a 73-46 record, the Dodgers improved to 27 games over .500. At the end of July, the San Francisco Giants were in striking distance of the Dodgers and just two games back in the standings. During their recent winning streak, the Dodgers are now ten games ahead of the Giants.
In the standings, we definitely have separated a little bit,” said All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts.
The Atlanta Braves lead the majors with 78 victories, but the Dodgers have the second-best winning percentage in baseball at .613.
Dodgers Shut Down the Brew Crew
The Dodgers are 40-20 on their home diamond at the legendary Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine. The Texas Rangers (42-21) the only team with more home victories than the Dodgers this season.
The Dodgers are in the middle of a ten-game homestand, and they’re on the verge of sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers. Fans caught a glimpse of a possible postseason matchup between two division leaders. The Brewers occupy first place in the Central Division with a 65-56 record.
The Dodgers outmuscled the Brewers in the last two games thanks to clutching hitting and stifling pitching. The Brewers were outscored 13-3 so far this series.
We can win in many different ways,” added Betts.
Betts and catcher Will Smith both collected three hits in a 7-1 victory last night.
The previous night, the Dodgers and Brewers were deadlocked at 1-1 before Hernandez sparked a sixth-inning rally. His pinch hit drove in two runs to bust the game wide open and the Dodgers prevailed 6-2.
“We have a very complete team,” said the fan-favorite Hernandez. “We’ve got a lot of guys, one to nine, that can get the job done. If they’re going to bring somebody that’s going to go their way in matchup favor, we’ve got some guys on the bench on any given night that can come in and match up better against that guy.”
L.A. Pitchers Thrive in the August Doldrums
The Dodgers allowed two or fewer runs seven times during their current 10-game winning streak.
In the last seven games, the Dodgers allowed nine total runs thanks to stellar pitching from their starting rotation and lights-out bullpen. The Dodgers limited opposing teams to two or fewer runs in six out of their last seven games, and the seventh instance was an 8-3 victory to complete a four-game sweep against the Colorado Rockies.
August is the worst month of the season,” said Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw. “For us to be playing as well as we are right now, it’s fun.”
Kershaw picked up his 11th win of the season last night, and he’s now win away from tying Don Drysdale for second on the all-time franchise mark with 209 victories.
Lynn was 6-9 with the White Sox before the Dodgers acquired him in a trade. Lynn won all three of his starts since joining the Dodgers. His record improved to 9-9 and his ERA dropped to 5.88 after allowing just four earned runs in 18 innings.
“Pitching wise, everybody has stepped up in the rotation,” added Kershaw.
Thanks to a recent surge, the Dodgers starting rotation lowered their collective ERA to 2.17.
Julio Urias won three consecutive starts in August, and the left-handed pitcher improved to 10-6. He lowered his ERA to 4.35 after two shutout appearances against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Oakland A’s.
Dodgers Uptick in the Futures Market
The Dodgers set a franchise record with 111 victories last season, but did not get a chance to compete in the World Series when they were eliminated from the playoffs in the NLDS by the San Diego Padres in four games.
Last year was certainly a sour note that I still believe a lot of people in that room feel,” said manager Dave Roberts said. ” I certainly do. Albeit it’s a different year. There’s a lot of new personalities, ballplayers that I think are just as hungry. It’s easy for me to bet that complacency won’t come into our process.”
The Atlanta Braves also had a disappointing exit from last year’s postseason, and they’re on a mission to win a championship. The Braves are the consensus favorite to win the 2023 World Series at +320 odds, but the Dodgers are second on DraftKings’ MLB futures board. The Dodgers improved to +450 odds to win the World Series, and they were +500 at the trade deadline.
According a postseason projection by FanGraphs, the Dodgers have a 16.3% chance to win the World Series. The Braves are the only team with a better championship projection at 25.7%.
During their winning streak, the Dodgers also saw an uptick in their odds to win the NL pennant from +240 to +200.
After opening up a 10-game lead over the Giants, the Dodgers saw their NL West odds jump from +500 to -20000 odds. FanGraphs estimates the Dodgers have a 99.2% chance to win their division.