Originally written on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/15/14

We are now into May there have been several surprises this baseball season. To the surprise of most people, the Dodgers are in first place in the NL West. This is almost as crazy as Albert Pujols not hitting a homerun in the month of April, but oh wait… that happened…

So how are the Dodgers having all of this success? Well, a large part of that is due to Matt Kemp. Most people expected the young centerfielder to have another amazing year, but he is posting numbers that are absolutely unheard of. At this point in the season it would almost be an upset if he didn’t win the triple crown.

Andre Ethier is back and better than ever, providing protection for Kemp and leading the National League in RBIs. Not only do Kemp and Ethier bring the bat, but their fielding ability and arm strength are way above average, saving numerous runs for Dodger pitchers.

As far as pitching goes, Clayton Kershaw is still dominating opposing teams, pretty much guaranteeing a win every time he takes the hill. However, it is the ”mediocre” pitchers on the Dodgers that are making the true difference. Chad Billingsley is pitching like he did in his all-star season, and Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly are pitching like they are five years younger. These pitchers aren’t posting crazy strikeout numbers or making batters look silly at the plate, but by simply getting the job done.

The Dodgers’ one main weakness thus far is the bullpen, which has blown numerous games. In a young season, closer Javy Guerra already has three blown saves. It is only a matter of time until manager Don Mattingly makes the switch to current set up man Kenley Jansen, who has been far more effective than Guerra.

Yes, a large part of the Dodgers’ success is due to their strength of schedule or lack there of. The Dodgers opened up the season 9-1, with all of those games coming against the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates, lackluster teams to say the least. Although the team has struggled since, the Dodgers did sweep the NL East leading Washington Nationals. In a weak NL West, it is very realistic to believe that the Dodgers could win the division crown.

The new owners have already proved they are committed to winning, adding veteran Bobby Abreu to add more power to the lineup. If the Dodgers are able to add a few relievers and find a replacement for Juan Uribe at third base, they would be a very difficult team to face. Realistically, Kershaw is the second best pitcher in the league behind Justin Verlander and Matt Kemp is the best hitter in the league; so if role players continue to step up, watch out for the boys in blue.

-Langer

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Celtics looking to make LeBron's life difficult in playoff series

WATCH: Luke Rockhold chokes out Lyoto Machida

WATCH: Masai Ujiri fires up Raptors fans with expletive

Andre Johnson: Signing with Colts not about revenge

Pete Rose joining FOX as baseball analyst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce around time of relapse

Isaiah Thomas once peed himself to avoid subbing out

Report: ESPN employees want Britt McHenry fired

WATCH: Raptors fans shower Paul Pierce with vulgar taunts

Report: Vikings want first-rounder, starting CB for Peterson

Jarret Stoll arrested for possession of drugs

Report: Todd Gurley's knee checks out well in evaluation

WATCH: All 286 3-pointers Steph Curry made this season

WATCH: Devan Dubnyk makes great save while leaving net

Sabres GM not happy about losing draft lottery

Yordano Ventura ejected for plunking Brett Lawrie

Five early takeaways from the 2015 MLB season

WATCH: Cubs fan catches foul ball in beer cup, chugs it

WATCH: Cardale Jones throws ball 74 yards during contest

Shaka Smart was quite popular at the Texas spring game

Ohio State sets spring game attendance record

WATCH: Bubba Watson raps on Christian rap track

WATCH: Jags mascot wins closest to pin at Sawgrass

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Josh Hamilton filed for divorce from wife

Report: McHenry's coworkers want her fired

WATCH: Raptors fans taunt Paul Pierce

Five things to watch in NBA Playoffs

Jarret Stoll busted for drugs

CJ Wilson: Hamilton is 'ready to go'

Leaked Clippers jersey redesigns

Tequila Patron Sports Car Showcase preview

Home runs ruined our ability to appreciate production

Why we love the NFL draft

The "worst" player on each NBA playoff team

Jim Harbaugh showed up at Ultimate Frisbee practice

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.