The Dodgers return home Monday night to begin a six-game homestand, facing the Phillies. These two franchises squared off in two straight National League Championship Series, in 2008 and 2009, but have gone in different directions since then. The Phillies are clearly the class of the National League.
The Dodgers have won four of their last five series, and are 10-6 in their last six games, but that pales in comparison to the Phillies. Philadelphia has won 15 of their last 19 games, and had a nine-game winning streak that was snapped Sunday in San Francisco. The Phillies are an outstanding 74-40, on pace for a staggering 105 wins this season.
Philadelphia has outscored their opponents this season by 127 runs, a number topped by only the Yankees and the Red Sox. To put the Phillies' +127 in perspective, the next three best teams in the National League in run differential (the Braves, Cardinals, and Reds) have combined to outscore their opponents by 134 runs.
The Phillies are eight and a half games clear of everyone else in the National League. Atlanta is in second in the NL East, leading the wild card. A fourth straight NLCS appearance, while not guaranteed, seems remarkably likely for these Phillies.
The Dodgers send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound Monday night to face reigning Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay, who is likely the favorite to repeat this season. These two faced off last year at Dodger Stadium, on August 30, and the Dodgers prevailed 3-0 as Kuroda took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.
Monday night's 7:10 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. For more news and information on the Dodgers, or on the game itself, be sure to read True Blue LA.