If you only looked at your twitter feed you would be justified in thinking that the Dodgers were entering the second half of the season in last place in the NL West. However, the first half of the season for the Dodgers has been much better than the fans give them credit for.
The Dodgers currently sit with a 51-40 record and are leading the National Lead wild card race.
The reason that fans seemingly haven’t noticed the success of the first half is because the upstate rival San Francisco Giants are the hottest team in baseball with a 57-33 record and are currently leading the NL West by 6.5 games.
What Dodgers fans don’t realize though is that this is something that should be encouraging. Six and a half games might seem like a long ways out, but considering the fact that the Giants have the highest winning percentage in all of baseball, the Dodgers are right where they should be, within striking distance.
If and when the Giants cool down, the Dodgers will be right there waiting for them.
— Blue, The Dodger Dog (@DodgersBluepen) July 2, 2016
The Dodgers have done all of this while having 19 different players on the disabled list since Opening Day. This is tied with the Rockies for most players in MLB. However, the Rockies have only had a combined 712 days on the disabled list whereas the Dodgers lead the majors with 1,098, nearly 150 more days than the next closest team.
And the list of those who have been injured consists of a pretty impressive group of players. With Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, Alex Wood, and Brett Anderson all on the disabled list at one time, the Dodgers disabled list rotation may have actually been better than the actual rotation. The offense took a hit too with Andre Ethier, Justin Turner, Alex Guerrero, Howie Kendrick, Yasiel Puig, Yasmani Grandal, Kiké Hernandez, Scott Van Slyke and Joc Pederson all landing on the disabled list at one time or another.
Ready for the Second Half
Things have slowly changed for the better though. With the second half set to get underway tonight in Arizona, the Dodgers roster looks much more like it was intended to. The biggest and most notable difference is that both Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-jin Ryu have worked themselves back into the starting rotation.
This gives the rotation a much different look with the two filling in as the #3 and #4 pitchers respectively. With Clayton Kershaw reportedly close to returning, the Dodgers will likely move recently acquired Bud Norris out of the rotation and McCarthy and Ryu become the #4 and #5 pitchers and any team with Hyun-jin Ryu as their #5 pitcher is pretty intimidating.
— Blue, The Dodger Dog (@DodgersBluepen) July 7, 2016
With the return of these players, the Dodgers rotation could shape out to be one of the best in baseball in the second half. This might be true even before the trade deadline, which many people believe the Dodgers will be heavily involved in, with names like Sonny Gray, Julio Teheran, and Erasmo Ramirez floating around as potential targets.
Considering the Dodgers pitching staff already boasts the 4th best ERA in baseball, the newly bolstered rotation could lead the Dodgers into a hot streak and could see themselves right in the thick of things for their 4th straight NL West title and trip to the playoffs.