Are Dave Roberts and the Dodgers scared of the Padres?
I wouldn’t go that far, but the Padres are just 1.5 games back after winning nine out of their last ten games, and have two games remaining against the Dodgers this series. With half a month left in the season, the Padres have plenty of time to make up that gap. Los Angeles’ Magic Number to clinch the division is 15. In other words, the NL West is very up for grabs.
But Dave Robert isn’t worried about any of that! Besides, both teams will make the playoffs. The division is all about bragging rights, while the Dodgers are pursuing a greater goal — one they haven’t reached since 1988. That hasn’t been for a lack of trying given their recent October failures.
“As far as the benefit, it’s nonexistent,” Roberts reiterated.
The Dodgers are preparing themselves for the worst
The Padres bevy of trade deadline acquisitions have synced with the team quicker than expected, and the result is a well-oiled machine. Whether you think they’re fun, cocky, or a little bit of both, San Diego is among a short list of contenders with the pitching staff and power to make a real run this postseason.
Roberts’ argument doesn’t hold much water. Sure, the Dodgers would still make the playoffs should they blow the NL West to San Diego. But this is the Dodgers we’re talking about! They’ve become synonymous with ‘NL West champs’. Heck, they’ve won seven division titles this decade. Every MLB season preview begins with blindly filling in ‘Los Angeles’ to the playoff picture. Falling to San Diego would mean much more than just one year of supremacy.
The Dodgers are the old guard, and the Padres are the new kids on the block. Roberts isn’t ready to admit that the Dodgers time might be up.