The magic continues and the Dodgers keep on winning after they swept the New York Mets, even though they trailed in all three games.
The Dodgers are now 70-50 and are still in control of the NL West and in their last 48 games, they’re 40-8, one of the most impressive stretches in MLB history. Not only are the Dodgers 7.5 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, but they’re trying to catch up to the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves for best record in all the National League.
Only one game behind the Pirates and 3.5 games behind the Braves and with 40 games left in the season, the Dodgers have an opportunity to grab the best record in the National League.
The Dodgers will now face now face Philadelphia Phillies as they’ll play their final seven games against teams outside of the NL West on their trip.
While the Phillies are a struggling ball club with plenty of talent on their roster, they currently sit in fourth place in the NL East with a 53-67 record.
Here are the keys to the series:
1. Score Some Early Runs
The Dodgers have been playing some exciting baseball, filled with comebacks and even a little magic. While it’s been fun, the Dodgers must try and get ahead early against the Phillies and their hostile crowd. Coasting to victory and allowing some of the guys to get some rest might be the difference in the postseason. With Cliff Lee and Cole Hammels on the mound for the Phillies, it’s important to get them rattled early.
2. Don’t Down Play Competition
While Phillies are having a rough go of things this season, they’ve had recent success against the Dodgers. Even though they’re struggling, the lineup boasts All-Stars Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley. The Phillies don’t have much to play for these days, so it’s important for the Dodgers to not be relaxed during the series.
3. Rest Kenley Jansen
The bullpen is once again a focus for the Dodgers in this series. Jensen has been light out, but they need to rest his arm as much as possible. It remains to be seen if management decides to activate Brian Wilson, as Don Mattingly had to use up a lot of his bullpen Wednesday night against the Mets.
Prediction: The Dodgers will sweep the Phillies. The Dodgers are too good and although they’re playing in Philadelphia, they should be able to take care of the Phillies and get three victories.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out the latest on the Dodgers franchise record 46-game stretch!