Despite a first half filled with numerous injuries and underwhelming performances from usual contributors, the Los Angeles Dodgers still find themselves in postseason contention. Even after dropping two of three games to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers hold a lead for the first Wild Card spot.
While Los Angeles initially missed an opportunity to gain significant ground on the San Francisco Giants, who were swept in a three-game series by the San Diego Padres, they’ve done so in the time since.
With another victory on Thursday, the Dodgers closed the gap to four games on the idle Giants, who are now in the midst of a five-game losing streak.
The division is largely a two-team race moving forward as the Diamondbacks, Padres, and the Colorado Rockies have fallen out of the picture.
In recently discussing the NL West race, Corey Seager unsurprisingly said he expects the longtime rivals to remain competitive through the remainder of the season, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“It’s going to be fun. It always is,” said Seager, speaking like a veteran of Giants-Dodgers showdowns. “Every year, it comes down to the wire with us two. It’s one of those things. Hopefully we get on top of them. They’ve been throwing the ball well. They’ve been playing really well. They’re doing what you need to do to win. We also are. We take care of what we need to do, too. We’ll be there at the end.”
The Dodgers and Giants will meet eight more times this season, with the last three at AT&T Park in the final series of the season. Los Angeles is 4-6 against the Giants so far this season, including a 2-5 mark up north.
Both teams have experienced their fair share of injuries this season, but Los Angeles may have gotten the shorter end of the stick. The Dodgers have seen seven starting pitchers and six position players spend time on the disabled list at some point this season, forcing them to delve into their rich farm system.
The injury troubles has also forced the club to search for options outside of the organization as the Dodgers acquired Bud Norris from the Atlanta Braves after Clayton Kershaw went to the DL with a mild disc herniation.
Since Seager’s comments, the Dodgers have encountered more bad luck with Hyun-Jin Ryu landing back on the disabled list, news of Kershaw needing to halt his recovery, and Alex Wood undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his throwing elbow that comes with an estimated eight-week recovery.
As for San Francisco, their position players mainly have been bit by the injury bug, with the likes of Hunter Pence, Joe Panik, and Matt Duffy all spending substantial time on the DL. Both teams, like many other contenders across the league, will surely look to improve their roster before the Aug. 1 non-waiver trade deadline.