Dodgers take advantage while the NL west struggles

The mild mild west

6/27/13 in MLB   |   droth   |   127 respect

Jun 26, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp (27) high fives outfielder Yasiel Puig (left) during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
After last night's victory over the Giants, the Dodgers moved to within six games of first place in the NL West.  Puig-mania has certainly helped turn the Dodgers season around after a brutal start, but their resurgence isn't so simple.

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:

Arizona 32-24
San Francisco 30-27
Colorado 30-27
San Diego 26-30
Los Angeles 23-32

Now, here are their records since June 3:

Arizona 9-12
San Francisco 8-13
Colorado 9-13
San Diego 13-10
Los Angeles 12-10

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.
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7/2/13   |   huskerdoug2009   |   2796 respect

The team still sitting in the drivers seat is the Giants.  Rockies will find an injury or weak pitching to fail in September leaving the Giants/D-Backs to fight it out for the division.  Giants pitching should be enough to win it.  Dodgers/Padres have hit their high point for the year.  Puig will cool down considerably after the All-Star break.