Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 5/9/12

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 legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge

Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

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

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker