The pennant race in the NL West is about to kick-in.
They start playing each other. The Dodgers and Giants have begun their 4th series of the season in LA.
The Padres, playing in Atlanta and Miami to finish up this road trip, have 18-games left with LA and San Francisco…9-against each.
2-teams are in trouble, the Friars and Dodgers Blue. The Giants are trying to hold onto 1st place and seem ready to slip. But the Dodgers seem ready to tumble with the injuries and the pitching issues. The Padres staff is running on fumes with some 68-games to play.
GIANTS..They have not had catastrophic injuries aside from nagging ailments to Buster Posey-Alex Dickerson, Evan Longoria, Brandon Belt and Mike Yastremzki. The key is that a bunch of players, who came with no accolades, have stepped up and contributed. The pitching staff has held up. The big question, they have some budget space to go make a deal to rent another bat (Nelson Cruz-Kris Bryant) or acquire another starting pitcher (Danny Duffy-Zach Davies) and might well do that before the July 30th trade deadline. Can they afford to stand pat?
DODGERS…What wreckage. Cody Bellinger is hitting (.168) and seems terribly mechanically flawed. Corey Seager is not yet back from the fractured hand. Mookie Betts is ailing again (hip) and the pitching staff is in trouble. Don’t count on Trevor Bauer being back with an impending suspension coming. Clayton Kershaw is out 4-more weeks with the forearm issue. Dustin May is out till mid 2022. David Price, apparently at the end of the road, cannot go more than 3-innings in any start. The big issue for the Dodgers and their (216M) payroll, is if they can take on more money and pay a bigger luxury tax? Are they willing to go get a stud (Kris Bryant) with the hope of an extension? Will ownership want to do that?
PADRES…A great first half of the season, with the Swag Chain, the home runs, stolen bases, starting and relief pitching, and El Nino has not been enough. The starting pitching is battered by poor outings and ailments. A starting staff ERA of (5.98) over the last 5-weeks has put the season in jeopardy. The fragile status of Ryan Weathers-Dinelson Lamet and the fragile psyche of Blake Snell-Chris Paddack have jeopardized the back half of the season. The workload on the bullpen is a big issue too, and the continued health issues of Drew Pomeranz put that group in jeopardy too. They need pitching, they don’t need Joey Gallo or another bat. I can’t subscribe they should use what is left of the farm system to make a deal. A rental (Zach Davies-Kenta Maeda) could be the difference maker to buy them some innings, but at what price in trade chips?.
TROUBLE-TROUBLE-TROUBLE…LA and San Diego have alot staring them in the face. The Giants may if they don’t add to this surprising roster.