In 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers received a franchise-record 106 video games and took residence their seventh consecutive NL West division title earlier than falling to the eventual World Collection champion Washington Nationals in Sport 5 of the NLDS. The membership’s unexpectedly early exit within the 2019 postseason put extra stress on the 2020 Dodgers — and that was earlier than they added one other famous person.
The Dodgers will enter the 2020 season — as soon as once more — as the perfect group on paper within the Nationwide League, nevertheless it’s not about profitable a pennant in a shortened marketing campaign. The membership is hungrier than ever for a hoop, and their blockbuster offseason commerce for former AL MVP Mookie Betts proves it. The Dodgers are nonetheless going to deal with profitable a World Collection, irrespective of the season’s size.
Supervisor Dave Roberts would not assume that the distinctive season should not make a distinction on how the 2020 World Collection champions ought to be regarded.
“There can be no asterisk,” Roberts mentioned earlier this 12 months. “If you take a look at the entire hurdles, maintaining your group collectively emotionally, and what your gamers should do in another way to arrange for this season, you’ll be able to argue it might imply greater than going by means of the length and grind of an eight-month season.”
“I believe if there is a championship to be received, we’ll do all the pieces in our energy to win that championship,” Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner added to the Los Angeles Occasions. “So, persons are going to say no matter they are going to say but when there’s a chance to win a championship, we’ll present up every single day and work in the direction of that aim and do all the pieces we are able to to win it.”
During the last three seasons, the Dodgers have come near getting that elusive title twice. The 2017 World Collection was a seven-game loss to the Houston Astros; 2018 noticed L.A. lose to the Boston Pink Sox in 5 video games. With this offseason’s findings that each Houston and Boston participated in unlawful sign-stealing schemes throughout their respective title seasons, the Dodgers’ ache from the back-to-back World Collection losses has shifted to anger.
Loads of Dodgers gamers (Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger and others) shared their frustrations concerning the sign-stealing scandals and the league’s subsequent investigations and punishments. They’re going to definitely be heading into the 2020 season with an ax to grind. Fortunate for them, as a part of the brand new geographically primarily based schedule, the Dodgers will get to face the Astros 4 instances throughout the 2020 common season.
The Dodgers have all the suitable items to achieve an abbreviated season, however will they lastly break by means of and win all of it in 2020? Let’s preview the Dodgers.
Win complete projection, odds
2020 Sportsline projection: 40-20
World Collection odds (through William Hill Sportsbook): 13/4
2019 file: 106-56 (Misplaced to Nationals in NLDS)
|DATE||OPP||TIME / TV||VENUE|
|Jul 23, 2020||vs San Francisco||10:08 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Jul 24, 2020||vs San Francisco||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Jul 25, 2020||vs San Francisco||4:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Jul 26, 2020||vs San Francisco||10:08 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Jul 28, 2020||@ Houston||9:10 pm||Minute Maid Park|
|Jul 29, 2020||@ Houston||7:10 pm||Minute Maid Park|
|Jul 30, 2020||@ Arizona||9:40 pm||Chase Area|
|Jul 31, 2020||@ Arizona||9:40 pm||Chase Area|
|Aug 1, 2020||@ Arizona||8:10 pm||Chase Area|
|Aug 2, 2020||@ Arizona||4:10 pm||Chase Area|
|Aug 3, 2020||@ San Diego||9:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Aug 4, 2020||@ San Diego||9:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Aug 5, 2020||@ San Diego||9:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Aug 7, 2020||vs San Francisco||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 8, 2020||vs San Francisco||9:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 9, 2020||vs San Francisco||4:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 10, 2020||vs San Diego||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 11, 2020||vs San Diego||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 12, 2020||vs San Diego||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 13, 2020||vs San Diego||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 14, 2020||@ L.A. Angels||9:40 pm||Angel Stadium of Anaheim|
|Aug 15, 2020||@ L.A. Angels||9:40 pm||Angel Stadium of Anaheim|
|Aug 16, 2020||@ L.A. Angels||4:10 pm||Angel Stadium of Anaheim|
|Aug 17, 2020||vs Seattle||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 18, 2020||vs Seattle||7:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 19, 2020||@ Seattle||9:40 pm||T-Cell Park|
|Aug 20, 2020||@ Seattle||7:10 pm||T-Cell Park|
|Aug 21, 2020||vs Colorado||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 22, 2020||vs Colorado||9:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 23, 2020||vs Colorado||4:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Aug 25, 2020||@ San Francisco||9:45 pm||Oracle Park|
|Aug 26, 2020||@San Francisco||9:45 pm||Oracle Park|
|Aug 27, 2020||@ San Francisco||8:05 pm||Oracle Park|
|Aug 28, 2020||@ Texas||9:05 pm||Globe Life Area|
|Aug 29, 2020||@ Texas||7:05 pm||Globe Life Area|
|Aug 30, 2020||@ Texas||2:35 pm||Globe Life Area|
|Sep 1, 2020||vs Arizona||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 2, 2020||vs Arizona||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 3, 2020||vs Arizona||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 4, 2020||vs Colorado||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 5, 2020||vs Colorado||9:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 6, 2020||vs Colorado||10:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 8, 2020||@ Arizona||9:40 pm||Chase Area|
|Sep 9, 2020||@ Arizona||9:40 pm||Chase Area|
|Sep 10, 2020||@ Arizona||9:40 pm||Chase Area|
|Sep 12, 2020||vs Houston||8:07 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 13, 2020||vs Houston||TBA||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 14, 2020||@ San Diego||9:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Sep 15, 2020||@ San Diego||9:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Sep 16, 2020||@ San Diego||4:10 pm||Petco Park|
|Sep 17, 2020||@ Colorado||8:40 pm||Coors Area|
|Sep 18, 2020||@ Colorado||8:10 pm||Coors Area|
|Sep 19, 2020||@ Colorado||8:10 pm||Coors Area|
|Sep 20, 2020||@ Colorado||3:10 pm||Coors Area|
|Sep 22, 2020||vs Oakland||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 23, 2020||vs Oakland||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 24, 2020||vs Oakland||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 25, 2020||vs L.A. Angels||9:40 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 26, 2020||vs L.A. Angels||9:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
|Sep 27, 2020||vs L.A. Angels||3:10 pm||Dodger Stadium|
- RF Mookie Betts
- 1B Max Muncy
- 3B Justin Turner
- CF Cody Bellinger
- DH Joc Pederson
- LF A.J. Pollock
- SS Corey Seager
- C Will Smith
- 2B Gavin Lux
The Dodgers are constructed to be the perfect group in baseball. They do not actually have a foul lineup choice, and it is seemingly supervisor Dave Roberts goes to mess around with it semi-frequently. In a 60-game schedule, the groups who will discover probably the most success are these with versatile and versatile rosters.
Betts, Bellinger and Pollock (if he’s and stays 100 p.c wholesome) might arguably be one of many strongest outfields in baseball. There’s additionally flexibility with Hernandez, Taylor and Pederson all in a position to fill in at outfield spots.
It is also going to profit the Dodgers to have the designated hitter all the season; the common DH was agreed upon as one of many rule adjustments for the 2020 season. For the reason that Dodgers depth is virtually limitless, Roberts will have the ability to use Turner, Pederson, Muncy or Pollock on the DH spot. Roberts informed MLB Community Radio final month that he doesn’t anticipate to have a full-time DH this season. As a substitute, he is planning to make use of the spot as a partial day-off for normal gamers, relying on the handedness of the beginning pitcher.
David Worth, who was acquired within the Betts commerce, introduced that he can be opting out of the 2020 season. Worth had been anticipated to be the Dodgers’ No. Three starter, behind Kershaw and Buehler. Hyun-jin Ryu is one other key loss; the veteran southpaw left through free company and signed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Dodgers had their justifiable share of bullpen points final season. However regardless of the underperformance in 2019, the membership has the suitable pitchers to bounce again this 12 months.
Can Mookie assist ship a title?
With this shortened season, Betts must play an even bigger function in merely getting the Dodgers to the postseason. Dodgers followers are going to declare their Betts commerce successful or failure primarily based on whether or not or not they’re able to convey residence a championship.
The 27-year-old Betts can be a free agent this winter, and, given his age and efficiency, it was thought that he might command upward of $400 million. As a result of pandemic, that quantity could be suppressed, however L.A. would like to preserve Betts in Dodger blue past 2020. It is price noting that if the 2020 season is compelled to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, gamers will obtain a 12 months of service time. (This was agreed upon within the MLB/MLBPA March settlement)
Betts says has no regrets about rejecting a reported 10-year, $300 million provide from the Pink Sox final offseason.
The 2018 AL MVP is slated to occupy the Dodgers leadoff spot when the common season will get underway. He’ll even be the membership’s on a regular basis proper fielder. Betts has received 4 consecutive Gold Gloves and leads the league with 93 defensive runs saved in proper area since 2016.
No Worth, no downside?
Even after the lack of Worth and Ryu (plus Wealthy Hill and Kenta Maeda), the Dodgers rotation nonetheless seems to be fairly strong on paper. Future Corridor of Famer Kershaw and 2020 Cy Younger candidate Buehler will look to cleared the path on the membership’s rotation, whereas the 23-year-old Urias, lefty Wooden and seasoned swingman Stripling will observe.
Supervisor Dave Roberts can even have the ability to flip to younger right-handers Dustin Could, Brusdar Graterol and Tony Gonsolin. However, the Dodgers will lose out out on veteran right-hander Jimmy Nelson this 12 months attributable to again surgical procedure. The process is anticipated to maintain him out for the whole thing of this season. The Dodgers signed Nelson as a low-risk, high-reward choice this previous January.
With a few of the questions and uncertainties surrounding the rotation, the Dodgers are going to be hoping for some breakout performances from a few of their high children.
Can Jansen bounce again?
If you’re taking part in simply 60 regular-season video games, maintaining relievers wholesome goes to be an enormous key to success. Whereas Kershaw and Buehler can go deep into video games, it might at all times be a secure wager for the Dodgers to strive the piggybacking methodology and take starters out sooner than ordinary. However, there are another points the Dodgers are dealing with, together with the well being of Dodgers nearer Jansen after he was recognized with COVID-19.
Jansen informed reporters at Dodgers camp that he by no means thought-about opting out of this season.
“I at all times wished to play,” Jansen mentioned. “I really like this recreation. I wished to play for the followers. Not solely Dodger followers, however baseball followers all over the world to have one thing to look at on TV.”
Though Jansen mentioned that he expects to be prepared by Opening Day, as of now, he isn’t cleared.
In 2019, Jansen posted a 3.71 ERA, 3.48 FIP and 1.06 WHIP with 80 strikeouts and 16 walks in 63 innings throughout 62 regular-season appearances whereas changing 33 of 41 save alternatives. Jansen has been in a decline for every of the final two seasons, however the Dodgers had been hoping for a bounce again in 2020. The 32-year-old even frolicked on the acclaimed pitching facility Driveline this offseason as he tried to recapture his cutter. The Dodgers later introduced the hiring of Driveline’s Rob Hill as a pitching coordinator. (He additionally labored with Kershaw, Wooden, Kelly this offseason)
It is doable that Blake Treinen, an offseason signing, might take over the nearer function, if obligatory. Treinen, 32, has recorded 71 saves in his profession, together with 38 throughout the 2018 season, when he posted a dominant 0.78 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 11.2 Ok/9 throughout 80.1 innings. Nevertheless, Treinen’s 2019 season did not see almost the identical spectacular numbers as his 2018 marks. He threw 58 2/Three innings with a 4.91 ERA and was non-tendered by Oakland.