Perhaps no team did more to address their weakness than the Los Angeles Dodgers, who pre-deadline, had one of the worst offenses in baseball, ranking 26th in baseball in runs per game (3.92) and 2nd to last in home runs hit (63, one ahead of the last place Giants). They were able to fill some of their biggest holes as well, plugging up gaps in the infield with Hanley Ramirez, a 28-year-old 3rd baseman who’s only a 3 years removed from finishing 2nd in the National League in the MVP race, and outfield with Shane Victorino, a 31-year-old former All-Star centerfielder. Los Angeles, perhaps more than any other team, did more to help their playoff chances because these acquisitions have the potential to greatly improve LA’s offense.
Standing 16.5 games back in the National League East and 13 back in the race for the 2nd Wild Card, the Philadelphia front office has decided to sell off some of the pricier outfielders in their possession, Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino. Pence has been the 2nd best hitter in the Phillies lineup this season, batting .271/.336/.447 (109 OPS+) with 17 homers and 59 RBI and looks to be headed to San Francisco. Victorino is also headed west, but to the Giants rivals from LA. The Flyin’ Hawaiian is having a bit of a down season, hitting just .261/.324/.401 with 9 homers, 40 RBI, and 24 steals on 28 attempts. Philly looks to be getting a package of prospects for their role in improving the offenses of the top-2 NL West teams. Let’s take a look at the potential return that San Francisco and Los Angeles will be getting.
With today’s 3-0 defeat at the hands of rival San Francisco, the Dodgers have relinquished sole possession of 1st place in the NL West for the 1st time since April 10th. The team has been slumping ever since Matt Kemp went back on the DL, going 11-14 since May 31st. The team has particularly struggled of late, losing 8 of their last 9. What’s even worse is that the San Francisco Giants have been able to make up 5 games in that amount of time, punctuating their mini-comeback with a 3-game sweep to tie for 1st. The Dodgers were outscored 13-0 by their rival from Northern California, the first time in the history of the franchise that they were shutout in a series of 3 games or more. So why, all of the sudden, is the outlook on LA’s dream season begun to turn cloudy? And can the Dodgers turn it around this season, or are they destined to drop behind San Francisco or maybe even Arizona, who’s only 4.5 games back of 1st?