San Diego Padres Are Still In The Fight For The NL West

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SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 15: Christian Villanueva #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park on May 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - MAY 15: Christian Villanueva #22 of the San Diego Padres hits a two-run home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park on May 15, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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After having won only 11 of their first 33 games to begin the 2018 MLB season, the San Diego Padres have managed to win six of the last 11. They are still very much in contention in the sluggish NL West race.

Despite enjoying a rest-day yesterday, the San Diego Padres moved up one place above the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings.  The Dodgers are on a six-game losing streak, having fallen to the bottom of NL West with 16 wins and 26 losses. What’s concerning for the Dodgers is that the losing streak has come against the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins, two teams that had a combined total of 25 wins prior to playing the Dodgers.

Don’t look now, but the Padres are only 8.5 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, who recently lost yet another impact player in AJ Pollock. The San Francisco Giants and the Colorado Rockies have played average baseball all year, at best. If the Padres can go about their business and quietly muster wins, the NL West is still very much within their reach.

The San Diego Padres are moving in the right direction

The Padres’ six wins have come against the Nationals, Cardinals, Rockies, and the Dodgers.

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Barring the Dodgers, the other three teams all have winning records. If not for a three-run dinger late in the sixth off Kazuhisa Makita, the Padres in all likelihood would have won seven of the last 11.

During the last seven days, Padres are hitting .233/.302/.361 with a .664 OPS (22nd in MLB). This is not much better than their season line of .228/.300/.365, but they are managing to close out games and emerge with wins.

The Friars are taking steps in the right direction. They decided to move on from Chase Headley and relegated Bryan Mitchell to the bullpen, two decisions that should pay positive dividends. Jordan Lyles has provided the team with some much-needed stability in the form of a quality starting pitcher (hopefully the trend continues), while Franmil Reyes looks to bring some more power to the lineup, which has been lacking much of the year.

Next: Putting Eric Hosmer's Play Into Perspective

The San Diego Padres will have a chance to continue their recent resurgence against the Pittsburgh Pirates as Eric Lauer takes the hill at PNC Park. #VamosPadres

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