The Los Angeles Dodgers gutted out a win over the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday after watching their bullpen nearly blow a seven-run lead, and all it got them was back to where they began the day.
The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies extended their winning streaks to five and seven games, respectively. In the Rockies’ case, they blew a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning only to win on Nolan Arenado’s walk-off home run which was the last hit he needed for the cycle.
Thus, the Rockies maintained a one-game lead over the Diamondbacks and Dodgers in the National League West standings. Entering play on Tuesday, the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Dodgers hold three of the top-five records in all of baseball.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes a tight division race can be of benefit for his club, and explained why he isn’t surprised by the Diamondbacks’ and Rockies’ success, via SportsNet LA:
“I think it’s a good thing. Not that I think our team needs incentive to continue to keep going and stay focused, but when you have teams in your division that you’re going to see nine more times, and you’re playing for the division (title) and Wild Card, it’s good for us. … We’ve seen the Rockies and how close they were, and have seen the nucleus for the Diamondbacks, so maybe the percentage they’re playing is a tick above what everyone expected but we know these are some very good teams.”
Roberts went on to add the Dodgers view themselves as the top team in the division, per Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
“As we do pay attention, I don’t think that anyone’s concerned,” Roberts said. “Because we realize we’re the best team in the division. We’ve still got to go out and play, but it’s clearly the best division in baseball. It’s going to be a fun September.”
The Dodgers have won a franchise record four consecutive NL West titles, and went into this season as the favorites to again win the division. FanGraphs still gives Los Angeles an 83.3 percent chance of being crowned NL West champions this year.
The Diamondbacks and Rockies meet in a three-game series that begins Tuesday. Later in the week, the Dodgers will host the Rockies for a three-game set.
Los Angeles has 10 total games remaining against the Rockies (seven at Dodger Stadium). The Dodgers’ final series of the season is three-game set at Coors Field. There are 12 head-to-head meetings between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, split evenly between Chase Field and Dodger Stadium.