It’s cliche to call any pre-All-Star break games incredibly important.
And yet, I think the next seven days are incredibly important for the Dodgers’ season.
With just one week between themselves and a few days off, the Dodgers travel to Arizona tonight for a three game set with the division-leading Diamondbacks before returning home for another four-game set with the third-place Rockies.
Currently standing 4.5 games behind Arizona in the standings, the Dodgers have moved into second place in the NL West, but remain three games under .500.
The good news for the Dodgers is that they’re playing easily their best baseball of the season right now — having scored 45 runs in their past seven games.
Unfortunately, the Diamondbacks are nearly as hot, bringing a five-game winning streak into the series including their recent three-game sweep of the Rockies.
A major positive for the Dodgers, however, is the state of the pitching staff — which is prepared to send Zack Greinke, Ricky Nolasco and Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound in what will be a pivotal series.
They also miss rookie phenom Patrick Corbin’s turn in the rotation as well. After three on the road in Arizona, the Dodgers return home for the final four games of the first half to face the Rockies — a team that has one just five of their last nineteen games.
The Dodgers are also 6-3 against the Rockies this season, having won all three series.With a Colorado’s potent offense as their biggest threat, the Dodgers will look to continue their hot hitting in an effort to keep up with Carlos Gonzalez and Co.
Leading the charge for LA isn’t the man stealing the attention of the country — Yasiel Puig — but actually Hanley Ramirez, owner of the league’s longest hitting streak at the moment (18 games).With Puig and Ramirez having found their form, the Dodger offense is particularly lethal — something that needs to be maintained as they look to end the first half on a good note.
If the Dodgers can win four or five of the next seven games (particularly stealing two from Arizona), it’s a safe bet that the Dodgers will be on the front of everyone’s mind heading into the all-star break.
Although a slip-up here could quickly erase all of the momentum they’ve built in the past few weeks.