Tag Archives: Dodgers

Dodgers in the All-Star Game

PUIG

PUIG

The Los Angeles Dodgers, currently in first place in the National League West will have a four-man contingent representing them at this year’s All-Star game, July 15th at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yasiel Puig was named a starter in the fan voting while Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Dee Gordon were also selected to the team. The Dodgers will have four players representing them in the summer classic for the first time since 2010. Puig, the dynamic second-year outfielder from Cuba, finished third in fan voting among National League outfielders. He’ll join Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates and Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League outfield. Puig is the first Dodgers position player to be elected to the All-Star game since Matt Kamp in 2012.

KEWSHAW

KEWSHAW

Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw is a leading contender to start the game. After missing 45 days with a muscle injury, Kershaw has been incredible since he returned, with ten victories and a 1.85 ERA in just 13 starts. Kershaw is in the midst of a 36 inning shutout streak that includes a no-hitter versus the Colorado Rockies in which he struck out 15 batters. Kershaw has a remarkable 115 strikeouts and just 12 walks this season. He’ll be making his fourth straight All-Star appearance. Kershaw is the sixth Dodgers pitcher in history to be named to four consecutive All-Star games, joining the select company of Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela and Don Drysdale. It’s Koufax, the greatest left-handed pitcher in baseball history, that Kershaw is most often compared too.

GORDON

GORDON

The Dodgers most surprising selection is second baseman Dee Gordon, who deservedly made the All-Star game at second base. Gordon earned the second base job in Spring Training and has been an outstanding lead-off hitter all season. The son of former Major League pitcher Tom “Flash” Gordon leads the National League in stolen bases and triples, with 42 and 9. In a major showing of respect from his fellow players, Gordon was selected as a reserve by his fellow players. He’ll back up Chase Utley of the Philadelphia Phillies at second base and should be an outstanding pinch running option for manager Mike Matheny. Gordon is the first Dodgers second baseman to be selected to the All-Star game since Orlando Hudson in 2009.

GREINKE

GREINKE

Kershaw will be joined on the National League roster by fellow ace Zack Greinke, who leads the National League with 11 wins. Greinke has put together another outstanding season in his second year as a Dodger, with just a 2.66 ERA and 119 strikeouts. Amazingly this season marks just the second All-Star appearance for Greinke, who has an outstanding career record of 117-86. This year’s All-Star game will mark the first time the Dodgers have had two starting pitchers in the All-Star game in over twenty years, all the way back to 1991.

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 15th from Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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BY: Chris M.

Dodgers July Home Series Giveaway Nights Dodger Stadium

July 10-13 San Diego Padres: After four-games in Colorado and a two game trip to Detroit the Dodgers return home for a four-game series with the San Diego Padres that will take them into the All-Star break. The Padres are currently in fourth place in the National League west and recently fired general manager Josh Byrnes. Those attending the Thursday, July 10 game will receive a Hello Kitty travel mug. Friday’s game will feature the traditional post-game fireworks, this time with a superhero music theme. July 10th Dodgers Hello Kitty Travel Mug Giveaway is first 40,000 fans only.

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This Flash Sale Wont Be Around Long and Some Restrictions May Apply!

Saturday’s game includes a major promotion, with the giveaway of a Pee Wee Reese and Roy Campanella bobblehead, honoring two of the greatest players in franchise history, both Hall of Famers. Sunday the Dodgers will wrap up the first half of the season, with the giveaway of a Portable Speaker. Kids will get to run the bases after the game. Following the Padres series the Dodgers will enter the All-Star break. Purchase Dodgers Vs Padres Tickets today!

LA Dodgers Speakers

JULY 13

July 29-31 Atlanta Braves: The Dodgers kick off the post All-Star break with a big nine-game road trip that will take them to St. Louis, Pittsburgh and San Francisco. After the road swing they’ll return home for a three-game series with another National League contender, the Atlanta Braves. The Braves are currently tied with the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League west.
Dodgers Vin Scully Mic

JULY 29

The Braves lineup is headed by sluggers Evan Gattis, Freddie Freeman, and BJ Upton, who’ve hit a combined 44 home runs this season. Andrelton Simmons is one of the top young shortstops in the National League. Young right-hander Julio Teheran leads the Braves pitching staff, while Craig Kimbrel is the best closer in the National League. Those attending the July 29th game will receive a Vin Scully 65th anniversary microphone. July 31st Dodgers Vin Scully 65th Anniversary Microphone Giveaway is for the first 40,000 fans. Purchase Dodgers Vs Braves Tickets today.

Original 30 Homerun club dodgers giveaway

JULY 31

The Thursday July 31st promotion is a much anticipated bobblehead that celebrates the first time four Dodgers teammates hit 30 home runs in a season, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Dusty Baker and Reggie Smith. Get to Dodger Stadium early for this promotion just to make sure that you get one of the coveted Original 30HR Club Bobbleheads! You can purchase Dodgers Vs Braves Tickets for July 31st today.

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BY: Chris M.

Discount On Dodgers Vs Indians Tickets

Dodgers Tickets

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Our last Dodgers Tickets discount fans were treated to a Clayton Kershaw No Hitter!

The Los Angeles Dodgers wrap up a key seven game home stand with three big games versus the Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers have made up 7.5 games in the standings on the San Francisco Giants in less than a month and now are within striking distance of first place in the NL West by the All-Star break. They’ll look to continue that momentum versus a good hitting Cleveland Indians ballclub. The Dodgers will host the Indians June 30-July 2.

Dodgers Vs Indians

SCORE NOW

The Indians are led by veteran Michael Brantley, in the midst of the best season of his career and a sure-fire American League All-Star selection. Brantley currently sports a .325 average, 12 home runs Dinner Of Champions at Dodger Stadium[/caption]and 51 runs batted in. Young third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall, long considered a top prospect, has emerged this season to put together a tremendous first half as well, with a .351 average on the season. Chisenhall is just a few plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting lead in the American League. Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Nick Swisher round out a Cleveland batting lineup capable of putting big numbers on the board. Hard throwing Corey Kluber leads the Indians pitching rotation. The young right-hander is third in the American League in strikeouts behind David Price and Felix Hernandez with 122. Kluber will start the series opener for the Indians, facing Dodgers veteran Dan Haren. Tuesday night Josh Beckett, who’s resurrected his career with a strong first half, will face veteran Indians right-hander Justin Masterson. The Dodgers and Indians then wrap up the three-game series on Wednesday afternoon with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound versus former UCLA star Trevor Bauer, one of the top young pitching prospects in baseball.

The three-game series with the Indians is the second-to-last Dodgers home series prior to the All-Star break. Adults in attendance at the Tuesday, July 1st game will receive an adult replica jersey of former Brooklyn Dodgers great Don Newcombe, the first player in baseball history to win the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award in the same season, something he accomplished in 1956. Newcombe finished his career with the Cleveland Indians in 1960.

Dodgers Vs Indians Tickets start at just $5 per ticket! Use our special Dodgers Tickets Discount Code BTS730 and get $10 off tickets marked BV! This is good for both Dodgers Vs Indians Games on 6/30/14 and 7/2/14.

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BY: Chris M.

Here Comes The Dodgers

LA Dodgers Tickets

THINK BLUE

Ten days ago the Dodgers were 9.5 games behind the red hot Giants, who had the best record in baseball. The team that many thought was a sure bet to repeat as NL West champions was struggling to keep pace with their arch-rivals from the Bay Area. Flash forward a week and a half and the Dodgers are right back into the thick of the race, just five days after ESPN Insider declared that the Giants are a near certainty to win the division, holding an 8.5 game lead just five days ago. In a five day span the Giants have lost five straight while a three game Dodgers winning streak has them within four games of the division leaders.

CK Dodgers Pitcher

CLAYTON

Wednesday night Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter and the 12th overall no hitter in Los Angeles Dodgers history. Kershaw struck out fifteen in a dominant effort and was just an error away from a perfect game. With the Giants losing earlier in the day Kershaw’s no hitter was an exclamation point in series sweep of the Rockies that included three strong starting pitching performances.

The three-game Dodgers winning streak has given them eight wins in their last ten games, and an important three-game home winning streak. The Dodgers remain just 18-20 at Dodger Stadium, combined with an impressive 22-14 road record.The recent win streak and strong road performance point to the Dodgers righting the ship. The Giants have burst out to a substantial lead but the recent five-game losing streak, couple with a solid run of play for the Dodgers, has come at the right time. Like last season the Dodgers seem to be making their June run.

So will the Dodgers repeat as National League West champions? Although it looked bleak less than two weeks ago there are several positive developments that point to a Dodgers repeat. Here are five reasons the Dodgers will surpass the Giants and repeat as division champions.

Field Boxes Dodger Tickets

Field Box

Their Home Record: Last season Los Angeles was 47-34 at home. In 2012 when they finished eight games behind the Giants for the division the Dodgers were 45-36 at home. This year they are a surprising 18-20, which includes this week’s three-game sweep of the Rockies. Chances are the Dodgers will play significantly better at home in the second half of the season, which bodes well for a division push.

Matt Kemp: The Dodgers recent strong form has coincided with the best form of the season for Matt Kemp. After missing nearly all of last season the Dodgers star outfielder seems to be rounding back into form. Over the past seven days he’s hit .417 with 2 home runs and 7 runs batted in.

Dodger Stadium Bullpen

BULLPEN

The Bullpen: Heading into the season the Dodgers bullpen was a massive strength, with Kenley Jansen coming off of a dominant first season as the closer, and Brian Wilson returning as a premier setup man.
After a tough start to the season the Dodgers bullpen is beginning to show the form that many predicted coming into the season. Adding to the recent performance of the bullpen has been the performance of Brandon League. Last season League began the year as the closer but struggled, eventually losing his closer job to Jansen. This season League has regained his form and become a strong setup man. League has an outstanding 2.27 ERA in 35 innings pitched. League, JP Howell and recently Brian Wilson have combined with Jansen to give the Dodgers the pen many expected. With League’s re-emergence the Dodgers have a strong bullpen group to compete with the Giants down the stretch.

The Return of Kershaw: After missing nearly a month and a half due to a muscle strain behind his shoulder, the Dodgers ace left-hander is back in elite form and staking a claim for another Cy Young Award. Wednesday night’s no-hitter was Kershaw as his most dominant.

That Starting Rotation: With the emergence of Josh Beckett and a healthy Clayton Kershaw the Dodgers have the deepest and best starting rotation in baseball. At the top of the rotation the Dodgers have two elite left-handers in Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke, whose 24-7 over the past two seasons. Veteran right-handers Josh Beckett and Dan Haren have solidified the back-end of the rotation, with Beckett sporting a 2.49 ERA.

All signs point to the Dodgers catching and surpassing the Giants and living up to the expectations that many pointed to early in the season. The big upcoming matchup is the late July Dodgers visit to Pac Bell Park to face the Giants. If the Dodgers are within striking distance they’ll have a prime opportunity to take over the division lead.

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BY: Chris M.

Yasiel Puig leads NL Outfielders in All Star Voting

Yasiel Puig Dodgers MVP

PUIG

After a massive jump that leaped him from fifth place to first place, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig now leads all National League outfielders in All-Star voting. Aided by an extended Dodgers home stand Puig leapfrogged Charlie Blackmon and Giancarlo Stanton to take over the lead among outfielders for the 2014 All-Star Game, to be held July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. The increase in vote totals is indicative of the rising popularity of the second year outfielder, who’s improved on his outstanding rookie season with a tremendous sophomore effort. On Tuesday Puig marked the one-year anniversary of his major league debut, where he took the Dodgers and major league baseball by storm to vault Los Angeles to the National League West crown. Like a year ago the Dodgers are hoping for the same kind of resurgence as they have ground to make up in the division. The Dodgers are in second place, a full seven games behind the San Francisco Giants who currently have the top record in baseball. Los Angeles is in a tight battle with the Colorado Rockies, who feature the top overall NL vote getter, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.

This season Puig has significantly raised his batting average, on base percentage and OPS, displaying Mike Trout like maturity at the plate. His Cuban exodus story is well documented and his evolution as a player is remarkable considering how little baseball he was able to play for two seasons while trying to leave Cuba. Last season Puig had 36 walks and 97 strikeouts in 432 plate appearances. This season, in just 242 plate appearances Puig already has 27 walks and has struck out just 44 times. Last season there was great debate about whether or not Puig was a worthy all star candidate after spending just six weeks in the big leagues. This season there is no such debate.

Dodgers Yaseil Puig

MVP?

After a defeat to the Chicago White Sox where they scored just a lone run, the Dodgers continued their offensive struggles. While Puig is putting together an MVP-caliber season the remainder of the Dodgers core, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp, are struggling of late. Dee Gordon, who got off to a tremendous start as the leadoff hitter, is in an extended slump. The club also is missing third baseman Juan Uribe, with Chone Figgins forced to fill in everyday at third base. AJ Ellis, who suffered an ankle sprain in the post- Josh Beckett no-hitter celebration, is also out of the lineup, with Drew Butera batting just .218 as the backup catcher.

The Dodgers have one game remaining on the current home stand before they head off on a ten game road trip that takes them to Colorado, Cincinnati and Arizona. Getting away from Dodger Stadium, where they are just 13-18 on the season, may ignite their year. Over the years Coors Field in Colorado has been a great slump buster for many Dodgers players, and the Dodgers have had their way with the Arizona Diamondbacks lately.

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213 749 0057

BY: Chris M.

Dodgers In June Giveaways

Here is a look a the LA Dodgers June schedule which includes some great giveaways and games including the always in demand Hello Kitty Bobblehead Night, Tommy Lasorda Bobblehead and Brian Wilson Bobblehead nights. Dont forget to arrive early to insure that you get your bobblehead! Dodgers Tickets start at just $5.00 per ticket with no service fees of any king.

Hello Kitty Bobblehead Giveaway

JUNE 3

June 2-4 Chicago White Sox: The Dodgers kick off the month of June with a visit by the Chicago White Sox. After a couple of poor seasons the White Sox are competitive again, with a lineup full of young hitters. The White Sox lineup is led by Cuban rookie Jose Abreu. The young slugger has taken the American League by storm, much like the Dodgers Yasiel Puig did last season. The White Sox pitching staff is headed by young left-hander Chris Sale, one of the top young starters in the American League. Those attending Wednesday’s game will receive a Hello Kitty Mini Bobblehead, while those in attendance for the series finale on Thursday will receive a commemorative pin to mark the Dodgers ten-thousandth franchise victory. Dodgers Vs White Sox Tickets start at just $5.00 per ticket.

tommy lasorda bobblehead

JUNE 14

June 13-15 Arizona Diamondbacks: After a seven-game road trip that takes the Dodgers to Colorado and Cincinnati, they return home for a three game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. After dominating the season series, starting with a two-game sweep in Australia, the Dodgers lost the final two of a three game series versus the Diamondbacks in mid-May, by large margins. Those attending Friday’s game will enjoy the traditional post-game fireworks. Saturday’s game includes one of the biggest promotions of the season, a Tommy Lasorda bobblehead. The series wraps up on Father’s Day, June 15th, with fathers attending receiving at Father’s Day Sports Bag. Dodgers Vs DBacks Tickets start at just $5.00 per ticket.

Dodgers Sports Bag Giveaway

JUNE 15

June 16-18 Colorado Rockies: Following the three game weekend series with Arizona the Rockies welcome in Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies. Behind a massive season by Tulowitzki and a big start to the year by newly acquired first baseman Justin Morneau, the Rockies are one of the surprise teams in the National League. The Rockies have one of the most prolific offenses in the National League and will be a big test for the Dodgers starting staff. Those attending Tuesday night will receive an autographed baseball. Dodgers Vs Rockies Tickets start at just $5.00 per ticket.

Brian Wilson Bobblehead Night

JUNE 26

June 26-29 St. Louis Cardinals: Following a three-game series in San Diego followed by a trip to Kansas City, the Dodgers return home to square off with Missouri’s other team, the St. Louis Cardinals. The series is a rematch of last year’s National League Championship series, where the Cardinals eliminated the Dodgers on the way to the World Series. This year’s Cardinals team is as solid as ever, with a deep starting rotation, an elite bullpen, and one of the most efficient offenses in baseball. The series opener on Thursday includes a Brian Wilson bobblehead giveaway. Friday’s game will feature the traditional post-game fireworks, with a Summer Country mix theme. The crucial four-game series wraps up on Sunday with the kids in attendance receiving a Adrian Gonzalez Kids Replica Jersey. Dodgers Vs Cardinals Tickets start at just $10.00 per ticket.

adrian gonzalez kids jersey giveaway

JUNE 29

June 30-July 2 Cleveland Indians: The Dodgers wrap up the month of June and kick off July with a visit by the Cleveland Indians. The Indians are coming off of a solid 2013 season in which they contended for the wild card in the American League. Second baseman Jason Kipnis and outfielders Nick Swisher and Michael Brantley help drive the Indians attack, along with third baseman Carlos Santana. Corey Kluber leads a young Indians pitching staff. Adults in attendance Tuesday will receive a Don Newcombe Adult Replica Jersey. Dodgers Vs Indians Tickets start at just $5.00 per ticket.

LA Dodgers Tickets

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Barry's Tickets Dodgers

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213 749 0057

BY: Chris M.

Decisions in the Dodgers Outfield

Dodger Stadium Centerfield

CENTERFIELD

Heading into the season the big story regarding the Dodgers outfield was their depth and whether or not they’d be able to find playing time for five outfielders, all talented enough to be everyday players in other places. Two months into the season and the talent is still there, unfortunately the production hasn’t been. While Yasiel Puig has continued his assault on the National League, the rest of the Dodgers outfield, particularly Matt Kemp has struggled, both offensively and defensively. Kemp’s defensive struggles in center field initiated a recent-three game benching of the former superstar.

With Matt Kemp no longer the everyday option in centerfield, the question now turns to who is the best option in center. From a sheer athletic ability standpoint the obvious answer is Yasiel Puig, who can cover the most ground. Unfortunately the talented young Cuban is still extremely raw and prone to errors. The best option on the current roster is Andre Ethier, who’s a sure handed option, but lacking in speed and range. While Ethier is dependable, he’s a far cry from the former gold glove defense that Kemp used to provide prior to his ankle injury.

LA Dodgers Outfielders

DODGERS LINEUP

So what is the ideal Dodgers outfield? Depth is a good thing to have, especially with injury. The problem is when too much depth equals too many options. For a team with postseason aspirations the Dodgers are eventually going to want to determine what their ideal outfield is. Right now, from a production standpoint that ideal outfield begins with Yasiel Puig and a whole bunch of question marks. Matt Kemp has shown flashes of his former self but is struggling offensively. Carl Crawford was an igniter in the postseason last year, but has an on base percentage under three this season. Andre Ethier is what he is, a dependable bat and reliable fielder, but not a difference-maker offensively.

The X-factor in all of this is the presence of Joc Pederson, still tearing up Triple AAA. Up until now the speculation around Pederson has been as a potential part of a blockbuster trade or as a late season call-up. Right now the Dodgers would be crazy to even consider a Pederson trade and should be pondering whether or not they should immediately call up the phenom. Pederson is dominating the Pacific Coast League as the fifth youngest position player in the league, with a .351/.454/.638 batting line. Pederson has 15 home runs and 14 steals. Since an impressive spring he hasn’t cool down at all, impressive everyone with his approach to the game and professionalism. He’s likely big league ready.

Dodger Yaseil Puig

PUIG

The Dodgers ideal outfield, right now, should start with Puig and Joc Pederson. The big question is whether or not one of them can play center field. They both have the speed to play center, but are both also a bit raw defensively with a corner outfield slot being their best position. With the remainder of the outfielders plodding along with pedestrian numbers, there’s no reason not to call up Joc Pederson. The Dodgers took off last season in early June when they called up Yasiel Puig. Pederson, if he continues the form he’s shown in AAA, could have a Puig-like impact on the Dodgers. Like Puig, his energy will make him an instant fan favorite. Like Ethier, he has the advantage of being a left-handed batter, adding additional balance to the Dodgers lineup.

LA Dodgers Outfielders

DODGERS

Of course if they call up Pederson they need to make a decision on a veteran player. Scott Van Slyke will have a role due to his right-handed power, while Kemp and his massive contract aren’t going anywhere. Ethier is a potential trade option, but it’s questionable how much value the veteran will have. Carl Crawford, due to his large contract, has no trade value. All Pederson can do it continue to force the Dodgers hand, with his play. He’d already be in the big leagues with most other organizations. The Dodgers shouldn’t allow their limited options with Crawford and Kemp to affect their decision-making. If the best option for the Dodgers is to replace Carl Crawford with Joc Pederson, the team needs to strongly consider the move, massive contract aside.

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Puig for MVP?

Yasiel Puig Dodgers MVP

PUIG

During his remarkable rookie run in 2013 many wondered if Yasiel Puig should have been an MVP candidate. The Dodgers amazing run of play, in which they won 50 of 70 games, coincided with the promotion of Puig to the big league roster. His incredible talent, enthusiasm and fire was a major catalyst in the Dodgers run, along with the performance of Hanley Ramirez and the Dodgers elite pitching staff. Puig eventually cooled down towards the end of the season, but his performance was one of the biggest stories in all of baseball.

During the offseason and spring training the big stories about Puig was related to off the field issues like traffic offenses and the amazing story of his exit from Cuba. For all of the success Puig was having on the field there were still question marks about how the young star approaches the game, his tendency for make errors on the base paths and his approach to the game. When the Dodgers opened the season in Australia first baseman Adrian Gonzalez purportedly took Puig aside to challenge him to improve multiple areas of his game. Some of the indiscretions of Puig, led some baseball analysts to question whether or not Puig would continue his ascension to superstardom.

Dodgers Puig MVP

PUIG

Well, what a difference a month makes. Six weeks into the season Puig is arguably the best player in the National League, with numbers that rival those put together by fellow Southern California star Mike Trout during his first two seasons. While the Dodgers are in third place and struggling to keep pace with the Giants in the division, Puig is playing like an MVP. His combination of speed and power has ignited the top of the Dodgers lineup, along with second baseman Dee Gordon. Forty-three games into the season Puig has demonstrated better patience at the plate, and is in the midst of a fifteen game hitting streak. Puig leads the Dodgers with a .333 average, 33 runs batted in, a .422 OBP and a tremendous 1.012 OPS. Like a true MVP candidate Puig has shined with runners on base. With runners in scoring position Puig is hitting .408 with 28 RBI. With two outs and runners in scoring position Puig’s average rises to .455 with 18 RBI.

Can Puig win the MVP?

Dodgers Yaseil Puig

MVP?

From a sheer performance standpoint he should be a top candidate. The key is whether or not the Dodgers get out of their early season doldrums. The Dodgers poor record is a bit of a mystery considering the individual position areas have performed well. The bullpen has struggled at times, blowing some late game and extra innings lead, but that should turn around. The Giants have started strong but as spring turns into summer the Dodgers should heat up and make their run towards the top of the National League West.

Puig will have stiff competition from players like Troy Tulowitzki, Giancarlo Stanton and fellow Dodger Adrian Gonzalez. Tulowitzki and Stanton, who have led their respective teams to surprising starts, are the top two candidates so far. The Marlins and Rockies will likely fall back to the pack while the Dodgers should contend. If Puig can continue his impressive numbers he should be right in the thick of the MVP conversation.

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Yasiel MVP

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Chris M

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Free $10 in Barry’s Bucks for todays Dodgers Vs Giants game

Today the Dodgers Take the field at 1:10 against the San Francisco Giants! With tickets starting at just $5.00 per ticket here is a great way to save even more! Use this code on two $5.00 tickets and see what happens!

Use MAY1015 in the promo code box at checkout on todays Dodgers Vs Giants Tickets marked BV and get a free $10.00 off from Barry’s Tickets. This is good only on the May 10th Dodgers Vs Giants Game!

Dodgers Vs Giants Tickets

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The Return of Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw Returns

Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers welcomed back Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday night, just at the right time. In the midst of an extended road trip that included trips to Minnesota, Miami and Washington, the Dodgers find themselves in third place in a rejuvenated NL West. After a dominating season in 2013 that included a big margin of victory in the division over the second place Diamondbacks, the Dodgers find themselves fending off an improved San Francisco Giants team.

Kershaw pitched for the first time since the Dodgers kicked off the season Down Under in Australia. The two-time Cy Young winner dominated the Diamondbacks in Sydney and after six weeks off he showed the same form he had in late March. Kershaw tossed seven shutout innings, striking out nine and walking none, throwing just 89 pitches. The best Dodgers lefty since Fernando and Koufax returned just at the right time, to jump right into a division battle with the Giants.

San Francisco is off to a hot start with record of 21-12, currently the second best record in all of baseball. The Giants have won nine of their last eleven games. Their pattern of winning in every even numbered year is taking shape again. The Dodgers are currently 2.5 games behind the Giants and a big part of that advantage can be traced back to their success versus Los Angeles. The Giants have won four of six versus the Dodgers this season, taking two of three in the two series they’ve played.

CK Dodgers Pitcher

CLAYTON

After the Dodgers wrap up in Washington they’ll return home and jump right back into the rivalry as the Dodgers host the Giants in a four-game series. They’ll get a bit of a break since the Giants have put ace Matt Cain on the DL due to a cut on his ring finger. Josh Beckett and Paul Maholm will start the opening two games, with the Dodgers aces Zack Greinke and Kershaw starting games three and four. If Los Angeles can get off to a quick start and win one or two of the first two games they’ll be in position to win the series and start to build back momentum versus San Francisco. Maholm was due to move back to the bullpen when Kershaw returned, but the sudden injury to Ryu has kept the veteran lefty in the rotation for the time being. Beckett, coming off multiple injuries, doesn’t have a victory to show for it, but has pitched well this season. He currently sports a 3.14 ERA and has given up just 20 hits in 28 innings pitched while striking out 30. His solid secondary numbers, combined with the solid seasons that Haren is putting together, bodes well for the Dodgers near-term future.

Success versus San Francisco will require the Dodgers bats wake up a bit as well. While the offense has performed in spurts this season, they’ve also struggled at times. Adrian Gonzalez, Dee Gordon, Juan Urible and Yasiel Puig are having outstanding years and have carried the Dodgers offensively. Conversely, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford have largely struggled. Ramirez, arguably the Dodgers best hitter, will come around. The bigger question marks surround Kemp and Crawford and whether or not they can regain their past All-Star form.

KERSHAW DODGERS

KERSHAW

Tuesday night the offense broke through at the right time with the top five in the lineup all collecting two hits. Hanley Ramirez homered and drove in two runs, with reserve catcher Drew Butera hitting a three-run home run. A win in the series finale on Wednesday would give the Dodgers a series victory, a 6-3 road trip, and real momentum for the upcoming home stand that starts with the Giants.

For Clayton Kershaw the quest for a third Cy Young starts again. He has his work cut out for him to catch up to the top contenders, including Zack Greinke, but with a near flawless first start back from injury he’s off to a good start.

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