While both teams fought neck-and-neck to be crowned the National League West champion last year, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies find themselves on opposite sides of the spectrum this season.
The Dodgers, well on their way to a seventh consecutive postseason appearance, are widely considered one of the three best teams in all of baseball. The Rockies, meanwhile, reside in the NL West cellar and have taken a considerable step back from their success last season.
That’s despite another strong year from Nolan Arenado, who is on pace to set career highs in home runs and RBI, among many statistical categories.
In what has been a lost year, the 28-year-old offered high praise for the Dodgers, deeming them considerably better than the 2018 team that advanced to the World Series, per Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post:
“I think they are better than last year. I think they are way better,” Arenado said. “They are healthier, to start with. (Third baseman Justin) Turner started last year on the IL, (left-hander Clayton) Kershaw was hurt early and (shortstop) Corey Seager missed the whole year. Those guys are all playing well.
“They are the best in our division and the best in the National League for a reason.”
As Arenado highlighted, the 2018 Dodgers were plagued by a multitude of injuries early on, which ultimately attributed to their slow start over the first two months of the regular season.
And while the aforementioned names have stayed on the field for the most part, the 2019 Dodgers have additionally reaped the benefits of a strong farm system, receiving contributions from a plethora of rookies and first-year players.
Arenado has praised the Dodgers on multiple occasions this season, jokingly stating in June that the club would not lose another game for the remainder of the season.
The five-time All-Star was more serious with his latest assessment of the Dodgers. In addition to deeming L.A. the best team in the NL, he opined that the Rockies have a long way to go in reaching their level.
The Dodgers posted a 13-3 record against the Rockies this season, with only four of the meetings being decided by two runs or fewer. L.A. outscored Colorado 121-83 in their season series.
A recent 7-7 slide has allowed the New York Yankees and Houston Astros to surpass the Dodgers in the standings, but the club continues to maintain an NL-best 92-51 record entering play Saturday.
Moreover, L.A.’s magic number to clinch a seventh consecutive NL West title stands at just four games. The Dodgers can officially win the division as soon as Sunday, depending on the Arizona Diamondbacks’ next two outcomes.