Don’t worry about the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Really. The time for panic and paranoia – which seems to last all-season for most Dodgers fans – is not now. The team, trailing the first-place San Francisco Giants by five games as of Sunday night, is getting its act together.

10 October 2015: Los Angeles Dodgers Infield Chase Utley (26) [3234] lies on the ground after colliding with New York Mets Infield Ruben Tejada (11) [8250] during game 2 of the NLDS between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 5-2. (Photo by Chris Williams/icon Sportswire)
10 October 2015: Los Angeles Dodgers Infield Chase Utley (26) [3234] lies on the ground after colliding with New York Mets Infield Ruben Tejada (11) [8250] during game 2 of the NLDS between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA. The Dodgers defeated the Mets 5-2. (Photo by Chris Williams/icon Sportswire)
After an impressive win over the New York Mets, which included two homers from second-baseman Chase Utley, who broke former Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg in last year’s contentious postseason matchup, the Dodgers are right where they need to be.

With a record of 26 wins and 24 losses, the Dodgers have finished their first 50 games with a winning percentage of .520. Here are a few sights to look forward to over the coming months:

The continued emergence of Chase Utley:

The man is 37, but he’s plays like he did when he took his Phillies to two consecutive World Series in the late-2000s.

Through Sunday, Utley has amassed four homers, 19 RBIs and an incredible .386 on-base percentage, per Baseball Reference.

But incredible stats aren’t the only things he provides. A World Series veteran, Utley can hopefully share his wisdom with younger Dodgers as the approach the postseason.

And he has the ability to quiet the mightiest of Dodger foes.

A stronger, faster, better starting rotation:

Perhaps the Dodgers’ greatest weakness has been its inconsistent starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw has been phenomenal, posting a 7-1 record with an eye-raising 19-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ration heading into Sunday night’s match-up.

May 28, 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers Starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) [1797] in action during the game between Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)
May 28, 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers Starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) [1797] in action during the game between Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Mets at Citi Field in Flushing, NY. (Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)
The other semi-decent starters have been Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood and Scott Kazmir, with the ever-changing fifth-man remaining up in the air.

The return of Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu and Brett Anderson will give the team a starting pitcher surplus, something that hasn’t happened in recent memory.

Tightening up the five-man rotation could give the Dodgers an advantage of the Giants, who have seen starters Jake Peavy and Matt Cain struggle in the season’s first two months.

Rookie dominance:

The continued success of Joc Pederson, Corey Seager and Trayce Thompson has given the Dodger faithful hope for the future.

28 MAY 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) runs to third base during the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers played at Citi Field in Flushing,NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
28 MAY 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager (5) runs to third base during the game between the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Dodgers played at Citi Field in Flushing,NY. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Heading into Sunday’s game, the trio have combined for 23 homers and 63 RBIs, per Baseball Reference. The young Seager looks to be a slam-dunk for National League Rookie of the Year.

Thompson has done so well that he continues to get starts in the outfield, even if it means displacing Yasiel Puig or Carl Crawford.

18 May, 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson (21) on the field during batting practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo By John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
18 May, 2016: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Trayce Thompson (21) on the field during batting practice before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in Anaheim, CA. (Photo By John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

If the trio can stay healthy throughout the season, look for them to bolster the team’s often-sagging post-season offense.

Getting the rookie-veteran mix can be tough, but it looks like the Dodgers are on the right track.

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Shane Newell
Shane Newell is pursuing his M.A. degree in data journalism at Stanford University. A lifelong Dodgers fan, Shane grew up in Southern California and graduated from Long Beach State with a B.A. in journalism in 2015. As an undergraduate, Shane worked at The Daily 49er and interned for two summers at the Orange County Register, where he specialized in local news and features. He wants to be a data journalist who tell stories through numbers and graphics. He hopes to use his data and multimedia skills to work on investigative projects across the world.

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