LOS ANGELES, CA-The obvious question surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros is whether or not these two teams will get back to the World Series and play each other again. That would be divine, if you’re a fan of the Dodgers, especially since the Astros took out the Boys in Blue in seven games to claim their first title.
So now, fast forward to the 2018 regular season as it draws near completion in little more than a month, and the two squads are on different pathways, but could seemingly meet again. The Dodgers have been beset with a myriad of injuries this season. It started with Corey Seager being lost for the season. It has continued.
Ace Clayton Kershaw has been in and out of the lineup with pile-ups of maladies. Third baseman Justin Turner has had his share of injuries this season. Pitcher Rich Hill recently went on the disabled list. Outfielder Yasiel Puig has also spent time on the DL this season. Not only that, the Dodgers have had to take in the announced retirements of Andre Ethier and Chase Utley (after the season).
Despite all of that noise going on in the background, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has been able to keep his squad locked in on the big picture, and that is the postseason. The Dodgers are in a three-team battle with Arizona and Colorado for the National League West crown, which is somewhat incredible considering the slow start the Dodgers got off to at the beginning of the season.
But to get back to the World Series, the Dodgers are going to have to contend with the Diamondbacks, Rockies, as well as the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. At least that’s the way things have shaped up to be now. The playoff scenario could look completely different a month from now.
The Astros, while they haven’t let off too much of the gas pedal from last year’s run to the championship, only lead the Oakland A’s by five games in the American League West Division. As far as being No. 1 in the win-loss column, the Astros are chasing the Boston Red Sox in that category, so they’ve got their work cut out as well in order to march back into the fun of playing deep into October.
The Dodgers and Astros stirred memories of one of the most memorable World Series in recent times when they got back together again for a three-game series played at Dodger Stadium. Houston made enough plays to win the series (2-1) against the Dodgers. The Dodgers fell to the Astros, 2-1, in a tough first game, but then collapsed altogether in a 14-0 defeat at home.
The Dodgers managed to save face from getting swept at home by winning the third game of the series with a 3-2 victory. That’s been the Dodgers’ playbook all season; looking good at moments, then playing not so good at other times. The team’s nearly identical home (31-28) and road (31-23) record is reflective of that. The addition of Manny Machado could change that. That’s what the Dodgers are expecting.