For much of the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been trailing the San Francisco Giants for the National League West lead.
That certainly qualifies as a surprise, given the fact the Dodgers were viewed as a heavy World Series favorite, and the Giants weren’t expected to be this good so soon.
San Francisco was leading the division by four games recently, but their advantage is currently down to 2.5 games.
The Dodgers won nine straight before losing to the New York Mets on Sunday.
While San Francisco remains elite and have won seven of their last 10, the Dodgers are determined to take the division lead.
They Made A Splash With Trea Turner
That’s why they decided to make a splash at the trade deadline.
Knowing that they wouldn’t have Trevor Bauer on the mound for the foreseeable future and having endured Dustin May’s season-ending surgery and Clayton Kershaw’s ongoing health issues, they opted to trade two very promising youngsters in Josiah Gray and Keibert Ruiz (plus other pieces) to bring ace Max Scherzer and star shortstop Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals.
Scherzer is a rental who may or may not stay with the Dodgers when he signs his next contract, but Turner is a beast, a stud shortstop in the prime of his career capable of hitting homers, playing good defense at either middle infield position, and stealing tons of bases.
He is a game-changer for the Dodgers in every sense of the word.
He had to wait a few days to make his Dodgers debut because he was on the COVID-19 list, but once he started playing, things started to fully click in Los Angeles.
He made an already great team a truly elite one, perhaps the best in baseball again.
Since Turner has been playing with the Dodgers (August 16), they are 13-3, which is unbelievable.
With Los Angeles, he is slashing .328/.365/.483 with a home run, three stolen bases, and a .848 OPS.
He has been even more impressive in his last seven games in Dodger blue: .464/.500/.714 with 13 hits, two thefts, and a homer.
— MLB (@MLB) August 21, 2021
To be fair, he has been a dynamo all season long, even when he was with the Nats.
A True Dynamo
Combining his performance with the two organizations, Turner is hitting .323 with a .369 OBP and a .884 OPS, with 19 dingers and 24 stolen bases.
He has already scored 79 runs and projects around 100 even with the time missed due to his COVID-19 list placement.
As it turns out, Turner may be the missing piece on the Dodgers’ puzzle, the one that will allow them to finally make a charge at the Giants in the division.
He gives them a very good chance of repeating as World Series champs, but that talk is still premature.
All that matters now, for the Dodgers, is winning the division so they can get a better chance to make it into the Championship Series.
The Dodgers have won 12 out of 13 since Trea Turner made his first start as a Dodger. Coincidence? Maybe to the Giants fans who think the Dodgers will fall back to earth.
— Sebastian Kong (@sebastianjk92) August 21, 2021
Turner will be very helpful in making Los Angeles a true powerhouse, and his impact has already been felt in the month of August.