After dropping the first game of the series against the Marlins, the Dodgers were able to win the last three games and get the series victory.
The Dodgers hold a 9.5 game lead in the NL West and are only two games behind the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League.
The Dodgers now turn their attention to the Boston Red Sox for a three game series at Chavez Ravine. This will be the first time they’ve faced each other after their blockbuster trade last summer and both are poised for a deep playoff runs.
The Red Sox lead the AL East, but they only have a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. After having one of the worst seasons in franchise history last year, Boston has bounced back and have been one of the biggest surprises in baseball this season.
This season, the Red Sox are a very good offensive ball club, ranking first in runs scored and on-base percentage while ranking second in batting average in all of baseball.
While Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke won’t pitch in the series, it could be a World Series preview with the way both teams are currently playing.
Here are the keys to the series:
1. Great outings by the starting pitchers
The Dodgers will be without their two best pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, but will still have quality pitchers on the mound. Hyun-jin Ryu has been stellar and is in consideration for Rookie of the Year, but Ricky Nolasco and Chris Capuano must have quality outings. If they can slow down the Boston bats, the Dodgers will be in great position to let their offense go to work against Red Sox pitching.
2. Dodger bats must provide run support.
During the seven-game road trip, the Dodgers averaged about four runs per game and without their aces pitching in this series, the bats need to come alive. John Lackey, Jon Lester and Jake Peavy is a formidable threesome as the Dodgers might need to manufacture more runs than usual.
3. Carl Crawford has to play big
Carl Crawford didn’t have a great stint with the Red Sox and the series could be a great opportunity for him to get his season turned around. While he was swinging a good bat before his hamstring injury, Crawford hasn’t homered since May and only has 10 RBIs since June.
The Dodgers might be tired after traveling cross country and without Kershaw and Greinke, this might be a tough matchup for them. However, it’s hard to see the Dodgers lose with all their momentum. They’ll win two out of the three and continue winning series at a very high clip.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out all the details about Vin Scully’s return!