By Jon Weisman
Despite a MLB-high 10 players on the disabled list, the Dodgers still opened the season 8-5 — first in the National League West, third in the NL. They did it entirely within their division, with more than half the games against their likely top challenger, San Francisco (the Dodgers went 3-4). They lost four leads, and won 62 percent of their games anyway.
This week’s road trip takes the Dodgers to Atlanta, where hopes will be high for a sweep (however rare those are on the road against any team), and then to Colorado, which frequently can feel like a Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Last year, Los Angeles lost its last four games at Coors Field, allowing nine runs per game. Last week, Colorado took two of three from the Giants, scoring 28 runs in three games. And this is where I break it to you: The Dodgers are sharing first place, and not with San Francisco, who blew a 6-2 lead and lost to Arizona in extra innings Monday and fell to 7-7. The Rockies’ 5-1 victory Monday over the Reds, behind the eighth home run by the division’s other rookie shortstop, Trevor Story, moved them into a tie for the NL West lead.
But first, we have the Braves, who have won three straight after an 0-9 start, though the team ERA is 5.35 and the Dodgers will miss Jhoulys Chacin (2.38 ERA). Atlanta is also last in the Majors in offense, with a wRC+ of 60, compared with 99 for the Dodgers.