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Power Rankings: Don't count out inconsistent Dodgers, Tigers just yet

by | Baseball Blogger

The Los Angeles Dodgers have commanded headlines for much of the season. First it was Matt Kemp's superhuman April, then the new ownership group freeing the storied franchise from the shackles of the McCourt era. For the past six or so weeks, it has been all about the additions -- including significant payroll additions.

We've seen these Dodgers as the best team in baseball. We've seen them play well without Kemp for a stretch. We've seen them add Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Josh Beckett and Brandon League -- five players that account for 13 All-Star appearances.

Guess what else we've seen from these Dodgers? Just two of five months so far were completed with a winning record (April and May) and they are 31-39 since June 17. Yet they've hung around long enough to be within striking distance of a wild-card spot and still have a decent shot to catch the Giants in the NL West.

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The Dodgers opened September three wins in four games, so it's a decent start -- though holding Tuesday night's two-run, eighth-inning lead would have made them 4-0 this month. Andre Ethier -- now a six-hole hitter -- is swinging a hot bat and Beckett has looked good since the trade. Ramirez is swinging for great power while Clayton Kershaw is again going to be in the mix for the NL Cy Young.

What if Victorino, Kemp and Gonzalez get hot? What if Chris Capuano starts pitching like he did for much of the first half? There's enough talent here to play deep into October.

Then again, there have been enough consistency issues to question if they'll even make it, and Tuesday night is one in a long line of examples. As things stand, the Dodgers would be staying home for the playoffs. What happens with this unpredictable bunch in the next month is must-see material -- especially if you get to watch Dodgers home broadcasts, with the dulcet tones of Vin Scully soaking over you.

As always, rankings, comments and stats are through Tuesday. Please feel free to contact me via email with comments: matt.snyder@cbsinteractive.com.


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