LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers shuffled their pitching rotation to line up their three best starters to face the Colorado Rockies this weekend. That sentence doesn’t get written often, so it’s worth a look at how we got here.
Separated by a hair in the standings, the Dodgers, Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks have managed to turn the National League West into a three-team race with more than two weeks to play before the All-Star break. The three teams own the three best records in the NL. Only the Houston Astros have a better record in all of MLB.
Arizona (46-27) beat Colorado (47-28) 10-3 on Thursday and 16-5 on Wednesday to win a three-game series in Denver.
Colorado has spent 59 days in first place this year — 48 more than the Dodgers — and hasn’t spent a single day under .500. For a franchise that hasn’t had a winning season since 2010, the Rockies are in rare territory.
The Diamondbacks haven’t had a winning season since 2011, giving the NL West standings an even less traditional look.
The Dodgers have won four consecutive division titles. They have no World Series appearances to show for it, but they do have experience in these regular-season scenarios. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes that counts for something significant.
“How significant? We’ll find out at the end of the year,” he said. “I do think that having been there and a good bit of our guys have been there over the last not only two, three, four, five years, when you are in September we expect to be there.
“When you haven’t done it, it’s something to be adjusted to,” Roberts continued. “The last four or five years we’ve lived that, as far as legitimate expectations to play through October. I think it’s an advantage.”
Pitcher Julio Urías is expected return to Los Angeles this weekend to have his left shoulder examined, Roberts said. Urías hasn’t pitched since a Triple-A game June 10, after which he was diagnosed with inflammation.