The Major League All-Star break has arrived which is a sign that we are halfway done with the 2021 regular season. During this time a year ago, there was no baseball being played, the Dodgers currently are in second place in the National League West with a 56-35 record being two games behind their arch-rival San Francisco Giants. For the defending World Series champions, it has been a season full of ups and downs.
Despite their current record, the Dodgers have dealt with multiple injuries during the first half of the season. The Dodgers injured list at one point reached double digits as star players like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Dustin May, and plenty more have made their way into that list. Throughout the first half of the season, the Dodgers have had many different players on the roster such as Phil Bickford, Edwin Uceta, Jake Reed, etc. who have made a contribution to the team so far.
Photo via Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
The Dodgers finish the first half of the regular season on a strong note after blowing out the Arizona Diamondbacks at home on Saturday night by the final score of 22-1. The next day, Max Muncy goes deep hitting a 3-run walk-off home run to give the Dodgers a 7-4 victory against Arizona heading into the All-Star Break. Muncy along with Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, and Walker Buehler will be representing the Dodgers at the All-Star game in Denver this week. It's no doubt that Muncy is one of baseball's best hitters as he leads the National League in home runs (19), RBI (52), and OPS (.972).
There is still a whole half a season to be played and the Dodgers have plenty of improvements to make. Right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer who has helped in the team's success this season is very unlikely to return to the team following the All-Star break as he was put on administrative leave by the league. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, the Dodgers may want to consider trading for another starting pitcher on the rotation.
As for roster moves, the Dodgers' most impressive acquisition this season was adding future Hall of Fame first baseball Albert Pujols after parting ways with the Angels in mid-May. Pujols has played an impressive role in the Dodgers' success during the first half of the season. In his 39 games with the Dodgers, Pujols is batting at .275 with eight home runs, 30 base hits, and 23 RBI's.
The Dodgers entered this season having one of the league's best starting pitching rotation and it has been impressive so far. Julio Urías coming off his first season as a starting pitcher has been having a phenomenal performance this season. On 18 appearances, Urías has an 11-3 record with a 3.64 ERA, recording 119 strikeouts, and has even had eight base hits as a hitter bringing in two RBI. Walker Buehler will be making his second All-Star game appearance and the numbers speak for themselves.
Buehler has an impressive 9-1 record with a 2.36 ERA, striking out 114 batters, allowing 79 base hits but has only allowed 33 earned runs. As for Clayton Kershaw, he has had his good and slow days as he has a 9-7 record with a 3.39 ERA making it the highest career ERA since 2008.
The Dodgers are still the favorites to repeat as champions this season and are looking to win their ninth consecutive division title. This season will be the hardest to win the division as they have caught themselves in a three-team race to win the National League West along with the Giants and San Diego Padres. There is a whole half of baseball to be played, as we look to see what improvements the Dodgers will make prior to the start of the Postseason.