Dodgers Push for the Playoffs

As Grady Little guides the Los Angeles Dodgers towards the playoffs, the San Diego Padres are hot on their trail. With 17 games left the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a mere 1.5 game lead over the Padres. The Dodgers finish up a 3 game series with the Chicago Cubs then come home for a crucial 10 game home stand, including a 4 game series with the Padres. The series with the Padres may very well decide the fate of the Dodgers season. The Dodgers have been struggling lately and yet still hold a lead over the Padres. If they can win the series with the Padres they should secure themselves a playoff spot and put themselves in good position to win the division.

With a few weeks left to play, the Dodgers look to have a schedule advantage over the Padres with 10 of their last 17 games being played in the friendly confines of Dodger Stadium. The Padres only have 6 home games left, but with a better road record than home record, the Padres may feel better about playing most of their remaining games away from Petco Park. The Dodgers only play 2 more teams with winning records, both happen to be in the hunt for the division title, The San Fransisco Giants and the Padres.

The Dodgers have made key aquisitions in the quest for an NL West division title. Adding Greg Maddux, Marlon Anderson, Wilson Betemit, and Julio Lugo combined with some minor league call ups seems to have given the Dodgers the depth they need for a playoff push. They have a 16 game winner in Brad penny and a 14 game winner in Derek Lowe. Add to the fact that they picked up Maddux, a future hall of famer, and that should be the three that carry them into the playoffs and through the playoffs. The Dodgers are very deep at every position. They have Nomar, Kent, Saenz and Loney that can play first. All of their infielders are interchangable and same goes with the outfield, with Toby Hall backing up rookie of the year hopeful Russell Martin. The Dodgers will most likely finish the season without any of their players reaching 100 rbis, even though they are in the top five in runs scored in the NL as a team. With that said the Dodgers have plenty of guys contributing which is a good sign. They look poised to enter the playoffs as a tough first round opponent, most likely facing the St. Louis Cardinals or the New York Mets. The Dodgers will have their best chance in 18 years to win their first playoff series since they won the World Series in 1988.

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