Which LA Team has a Better Shot at a Playoff Run?
The Angels are 9 back in their division and 6 games back of the 2nd AL wild card spot, while the Dodgers are 3.5 games back in their division and 6.5 games back of the 2nd NL wild card spot.
With the All-Star break right around the corner, both teams have enough talent, and a small enough gap in the standings to make a run towards the 2013 postseason.
But which team will actually deliver?
Much like the Angels last year, the Dodgers have been fueled lately by a rookie sensation. Since Yasiel Puig’s call-up and first start on June 3rd, the Dodgers have been a far more complete team, and in the last 3 weeks, they’ve been as good as just about anyone in the National League.
Their 6-game win streak that began on June 22nd was the start of a period in which the Dodgers were able to win 13 of 16 games.
The 2-3-4 of Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez (who’s in the midst of a 10-game hit streak) has been dynamite since mid June and with the return of Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier’s improved play lately, the Dodgers have an extremely dangerous lineup.
Of course the absence of #27 in the middle of the order is difficult to make up for but once Matt Kemp returns, the Dodgers should undoubtedly have one of the most loaded lineups in all of baseball.
From a pitching perspective, the Dodgers have a solid front to their rotation with the trio of Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke, and Hyun-Jin Ryu and new closer Kenley Jansen is a major improvement over Brandon League. Fourth starter Chris Capuano has struggled all season and the team has yet to find the answer for the 5th spot in the rotations. All in all, the Dodgers pitching staff and bullpen are looking pretty good, but there are some clear areas for improvement.
If the team can find consistency in the rotation after the Kershaw, Greinke, and Ryu, and if the lineup can stay hot after the return of Kemp, it’s going to be hard for the Diamondbacks to continue fending off the Dodgers.