Despite Slim Lead In NL West, Dave Roberts Says Dodgers Are ‘In A Good Place’
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrapped up the unofficial first half of the season on a positive note, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 5-3, in the finale of the three-game Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers improved to a season-best 10 games over .500 with the victory and now sit alone in first place in the National League West. At 53-43, Los Angeles finds itself a half-game up on the Arizona Diamondbacks, who spent the better part of the first half tops in the NL West.

It’s the second consecutive year in which the Dodgers entered the All-Star Break with the best mark in the NL West, but the path in doing so this time around differs greatly when compared to last season.

In 2017, they headed into the break with a massive 7.5-game lead over the Diamondbacks in the division.

The Dodgers received a boost in calling up eventual NL Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger and didn’t endure as many injuries when compared to this season. They’ve endured stretches without the services of Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw, among others.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts wasn’t aware of the differences in his team’s lead in the standings, which he isn’t bothered by but does see plenty of room for improvement in the second half, via SportsNet LA:

“Honestly, I didn’t realize where we were at last year. Every year is different. I think we’re in a good place. Have we played our best baseball? No. Do I expect to continue to get better? Yes. I think we’re where we’re supposed to be.”

The Dodgers, despite their rough start, have posted an NL-best 37-17 record since May 17. Not coincidentally, the club has improved with the returns of many key players from the disabled list, as well as receiving unexpected contributions from the likes of Max Muncy and Ross Stripling, among others.

While Roberts expects Los Angeles to play their best baseball in the second half, the team could soon have a different looking roster with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline fast approaching.

The Dodgers already swung a deal to acquire Dylan Floro to fortify the bullpen, and made quite the splash by adding Manny Machado to the fold as well.

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