The 10-game winning streak came to an end Monday night against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, when the Boys in Blue were blanked by the Halos, 4-0. It was the Dodgers’ first loss since June 15 in Cleveland.
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Since that loss, Dave Roberts‘ squad went on to win their next 10 games, their longest streak since 2006. What might be more impressive than three straight sweeps is how they’ve been able to do this consistently since late April.
Cody Bellinger, for starters. The 21-year-old is hitting home runs at a ridiculous pace, swatting 24 in his first career 58 games. Nobody in the history of baseball has ever hit that many in such a short span of time. According to teamrankings.com, Bellinger leaves the yard once every nine at-bats, which ranks him as the game’s most frequent home run hitter.
In MLB.com’s latest power rankings, the Dodgers now lead the pack after their fourth-place finish last week. Their surge as baseball’s top dog has allowed them to regain their first-place lead in the National League West over the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
First place is something the Dodgers could certainly get used to, and something that I believe they will.
They have the best pitching staff throughout the league in terms of earned run average (3.31). Clayton Kershaw and Alex Wood have teamed up for an impressive one-two punch in the rotation, combining for a record of 19-2 and a dazzling 2.17 ERA.
Kenley Jansen, one of the finest closers in the game, is adding a dominant 2017 to an already impressive resume. In 32.2 innings of work, he’s held hitters to a .147 average with 52 strikeouts. He’s 17-for-17 so far in saves, and his 0.83 ERA almost guarantees a lights-out, one-two-three ninth inning.
To complement Bellinger, the Dodgers also boast sluggers like Justin Turner, Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig. As if they need more firepower, Chris Taylor has quietly emerged as another fine piece of the puzzle for Roberts. Despite a shaky June, Taylor is slashing .279/.370/.483 with nine home runs and 32 RBI.