NEW YORK – Despite entering Sunday’s game four games behind the Giants in the NHL, some projections still have the Dodgers as a team to beat in the division.
Fangraphs gives the Dodgers 54.6% chance of winning the division and 20.3% chance of winning the World Series, by far the most of any team. Los Angeles is also the favorite in betting for back-to-back titles.
The games, however, are not played on a computer or through simulations. The reality is the Dodgers need to catch up in the last 44 games of the regular season. But after securing a three-game sweep with a 14-4 victory over the Mets on Sunday at Citi Field, LA showed exactly why he is one of the NL’s favorites.
After two close games against the Mets, the Dodgers got down to business from the jump on Sunday. Justin Turner, who said on Friday he always likes to prove his former team was wrong for releasing him, started the scoring with a two-run homer in the first set against New York starter Carlos Carrasco. Two batters later, Will Smith continued his dominance against the Mets, pitching a solo homerun – his third in the series – to give the Dodgers an early 3-0 lead.
In the second, the big rumors continued against Carrasco. Trea Turner doubled by one point and Max Muncy pitched the first of his two home runs, a two-run explosion to give the Dodgers a 6-0 lead. Six of the first nine balls put into play by Los Angeles had an exit speed of 95 mph or more. Muncy would later add another two-run blast to cap off a three-run sixth inning.
That was a lot of support for Max Scherzer, who once again showed why the Dodgers came out and got him before the July 30 trade deadline. Scherzer sailed through traffic early, but allowed just two runs on four hits and struck out seven strikes in six innings. The future Hall of Famer also contributed to the plaque with a fly bag.
With Scherzer and Walker Buehler in the lead, the Dodgers pitching staff dominated a below-par Mets offense. Outside of a four-run seventh inning on Friday, the Los Angeles pitching staff limited New York’s offense to six runs (five earned) in the remaining 28 innings this weekend.
But while the Dodgers flexed their muscles at plate and showed all their quality arms, the defense is something LA will need to improve over the next five weeks. It has been the most inconsistent part of the club this season, and it was particularly ugly on Sunday, especially for Trea Turner, who is still comfortable with the transition to second base.
Before the six-game trip to the East Coast, the Dodgers knew they had to play well in order to avoid falling further in the standings. Despite failing to regain ground in San Francisco, Los Angeles ended the trip with a 5-1 record.