Arguably one of the greatest pitchers of all time has been hurt since the month of June. Some how, Clayton Kershaw’s back injury has not fazed the Dodgers; they have a two game lead over the San Francisco Giants finishing up the month of August. Before the injury, Kershaw was 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA, dominating the league with 145 strikeouts. He clearly would have won the Cy Young Award this year. Some how, same way, the Dodgers have won games without their Franchise player.
I believe that the Dodgers success has resulted from two sources: the Giants cold streak since the All Star break (14-26) and outstanding offensive production from the Dodgers core players (Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, and Justin Turner). Corey Seager and Adrian Gonzalez have combined for a .372 batting average over the last month, driving in 39 runs. Corey Seager will easily win the rookie of the year, exceeding almost all expectations this summer. Justin Turner or as I like to call him, “the Leprechaun”, has also contributed, hitting 6 homeruns and driving in 17 runs during that span.
The Dodgers do have a chance to run away with this division next month because Kershaw will be back in about two weeks, which should help me win some money in fantasy (“knock on wood”). If you were to tell me two months ago that the Dodgers would be in first place without Kershaw, I would have called you crazy. Maybe the team has a little Vin Scully magic.