The Dodgers (66-29) and Astros (63-32) have been the best teams in baseball this year. The Dodgers are a majors-best 39-11 (.780) at home, the Astros are a majors-best 33-11 (.750) on the road, and they lead their divisions by 11 and 15.5 games over the Rockies and Mariners, respectively.
It’s been pure dominance – especially from the Dodgers, who are 31-4 since June 7.
“It’s been unbelievable to see what they’ve been doing,” three-time All-Star and MLB Network analyst Sean Casey said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “When you look at the Dodgers, you got (Cody) Bellinger, you got (Justin) Turner – the guys in the middle of that order – but I think the big thing is the emergence of Alex Wood and that rotation to go along up there with Kershaw’s dominance. That whole rotation has been pretty solid.”
Especially Wood, who is 11-0 with a 1.56 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP and 101 strikeouts in 86.2 innings. This is a guy who went 27-30 in his first four years in the majors.
“I don’t think anybody saw it coming,” Casey said. “Obviously we always knew Alex Wood had good stuff. I think watching Clayton Kershaw go about his business every day, how he attacks hitters, how he works between starts, all the things he does – I have to think that Kershaw being around has pushed Alex Wood a little bit.”
The Dodgers have won 14 of 15, including 11 straight. They begin a 10-game home-stand Thursday against Atlanta (45-48), with Minnesota (48-46) and San Francisco (37-59) to follow.
“They’re a buzzsaw right now,” Casey said. “If you play the Dodgers, you’re in trouble. I think maybe the is the year it translates. I just feel like they’re clicking on all cylinders and that team is built now for a postseason run.”
The Dodgers have made the playoffs four years in a row but haven’t reached the World Series since 1988.
The Astros, meanwhile, are closing in on their second playoff appearance in three seasons. Carlos Correa will miss up to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb, but Casey doesn’t expect Houston to regress much, if at all.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “With them being (15.5) games up, I think that’s the biggest plus right there. A lot of guys are having bounce-back years. You got (George) Springer, you can put (Alex) Bregman at short now, Marwin Gonzalez, (Jose) Altuve – they’re loaded. If you go up and down that lineup, they’re loaded.”
The Astros lead the majors in runs (5.9), home runs (155), average (.289), OBP (.355), slugging (.498) and OPS (.853).
Correa was a big part of that. The 22-year-old was hitting .320 with 20 homers, 67 RBIs and a .400 OBP.
“It’s tough because he was in the MVP conversation with what he was doing – hitting over .300, 20 homers, close to 70 RBIs,” Casey said. “But at the end of the day, they get him back in eight weeks – which is two weeks before the season ends going into the postseason. So I think they’re sitting pretty for an injury of this magnitude. I think they’re going to be okay.”