MLB's most dangerous losing team

Three reasons the Dodgers are poised to live up to their potential

Updated: July 5, 2013, 2:21 PM ET
By Mike Petriello | ESPN Insider

On the first day of July, the Los Angeles Dodgers woke up to find themselves in exactly the same place they'd been for most of the previous two months: buried in last place in the National League West. They were barely more than a week past a loss that had put them a season-high 9½  games out and 12 games under .500; as late as June 22, they had more losses than all but four other teams.

It wasn't supposed to be this way for a club that had famously gone from the penniless depths of the Frank McCourt era to the dizzying heights of the Guggenheim group and their seemingly bottomless pockets. The nouveau riche Dodgers were supposed to storm through the National League, stomping over anyone foolish enough to stand in their way. Instead, the most popular discussion topic among fans has been when -- not if -- manager Don Mattingly would be fired.

But thanks to some fortunate circumstances, the Dodgers have managed to stay within spitting distance of first place. Here are three reasons they are the most dangerous losing team in baseball.