The rest of the teams in NL West have stalled and Los Angeles has been able to capitalize.
On June 3, 2013, the day that Yasiel Puig made his debut, the Dodgers sat 8.5 games back of Arizona. Here are the division standings from that day:
Now, here are their records since June 3:
It is not at all unusual for a team to have a bad few weeks or month, but this is weird. The top three teams have gone into a bit of a tail spin and opened the door for the bottom dwellers.
Now, the Dodgers are six back of Arizona and, after last night, have won five games in a row. Over their last 10 games, they are 6-4, making them the only team in division that is .500 or above in that stretch. The Dodgers are also the only team in the NL West that is not currently in the midst of a losing streak.
The Dodgers turnaround is, in large part, due to the way that Puig has rejuvenated the team and the fan base. But even with the added excitement and production, as well as the improved play of the team's other MVP caliber players, the Dodgers are still just a drop over .500 since Puig's arrival and they are, by no means, taking the division by storm. Sure they've made some progress and cut two and a half games off of the division lead, but nothing that's happening out west--besides Puig's personal acheivements--is worth writing home about.
At this rate, even if they're just a touch above average, they're going catch the division leaders in no time unless the rest of the NL West gets its act together.