Monday, July 13, 2009

Los Angeles Dodgers are MLB's best team

How about those Dodgers?

Not only do the Los Angeles Dodgers have MLB’s best record (56-32) at the All-Star break; second-place San Francisco in the NL West leads the wild card chase by two games.

Translated: The Dodgers are nine games in front of the competition for a berth in the 2009 playoffs.

This is a team that can be truly characterized as a “team,” since more than one individual is leading the way.

After all, the Dodgers went 29-21 when Manny Ramirez was on his 50-game drug suspension.

Can you imagine the St. Louis Cardinals going 29-21 without Albert Pujols?

Perhaps the best indication of the Dodgers’ depth is that Juan Pierre – Ramirez’s replacement during his suspension – is the team’s No. 4 outfielder. On any other team in the NL West, Pierre would probably be playing everyday and batting leadoff.

If the Dodgers have a weakness, it is their starting rotation’s inability to go deep into the game (they are second in the league in bullpen innings pitched.)

Chad Billingsley has emerged as the ace and proven to be capable of going 7-8 innings. After him, you rarely get more than 5-6 innings out of Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf or Clayton Kershaw.

The Dodgers would love to get American League All-Star starter Roy Halladay as their ace, but the asking price of Billingsley or Kershaw is too high.

So, General Manager Ned Colletti will likely fill the void by adding a relief pitcher.

How does Manager Joe Torre grade his team at this point?

“Incomplete,” he told the Associated Press after Sunday’s 7-4 win vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. “That's the only thing I can give it at this point because the back half, just like in golf the back nine, is the toughest one to play. We're going to have to go out there and continue to live up to ourselves.”

Don’t be surprised if the Dodgers have a Tiger Woods-like back nine.

1 comment:

sam said...

If the Dodgers get Halladay, look out!!!