The Dodgers were extolled by everyone in sports (including this writer) for being the best team in baseball. They were winning so much that it was hard to imagine them losing, and now they are in a slump that has seen them win one game in their last baker's dozen. The Dodgers are suffering through a baseball season that is undeniably long for everyone. Every team in baseball must go through the ups and downs that happen during a 162-game schedule, and the Dodgers have chosen the wrong time to look terrible.

The Yankees rise

The yankees and the Twins are on the rise in the American League, and the Cubs are nipping at the heels of the Dodgers.

This upward surge by other teams in baseball may cause problems for the Dodgers because they see everyone around them improving while they have hardly won in two weeks. The Dodgers could see their confidence falter because they are playing so poorly, and they could continue to lose until the season ends. All the work that they did to begin the season may be for nothing if they are falling backwards into the playoffs.

The Cubs are a threat

The Cubs are an official threat to the Dodgers because they have played so well over the past month. The Cubs lead their division, and they have starred hitting again. They do not appear as though they need Aroldis Chapman as their closer, and they are finding their starting pitching groove that was lost for so long.

They had one of the worst slumps for a defending World Series champion in history, but that slump is over. The Dodgers cannot roll to the World Series without a thought because the Cubs are squarely in their path.

One winning streak

The Dodgers can invalidate everything that has been said about them of late with one winning streak.

They merely need to show flashes of the great team that they were to start the season, and they must ensure that they have used that momentum once they get to the playoffs. Every team in sports must create its own momentum with a combination of good play and mental toughness. Now is the time for the Dodgers to prove that they are mentally tough and prepared to play a solid month and more without any more hiccups.

Dave Roberts

Dave must have his team on an even keel to end the season. His leadership will determine how the Dodgers play in the postseason, and he will not do himself any favors if the Dodgers make an early exit. It would not be surprising to see him lose his job if the Dodgers do not win a title, and he will surely be on the hot seat if they were knocked out early in the playoffs.