In 2020 the Los Angeles Dodgers began their 131st season as a member of Major League Baseball. The first 68 seasons were played in Brooklyn before moving to Los Angeles in 1958. The Dodgers entered the season coming off seven consecutive NL West Division titles and 106 wins last year, yet haven’t won a World Series championship since 1988.
Entering spring training there was high hopes for the Dodgers this season, then on March 12, the MLB announced the start of the season would be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially thought to be a two-week delay turned into months and finally on June 23, a 60-game schedule was implemented by commissioner Robert Manfred. While a 60-game schedule was more like a sprint than a marathon, Major League Baseball would be played.
The Dodgers schedule began against the Giants and they started the season with a 2-2 split against the Giants before winning eight of their next 10. After dropping three of their next four, including two against divisional rival San Diego, the Dodgers went on a tear, winning 19 of their next 22. Their 30-10 start tied their best 40-game start in history of the franchise. In addition, it was the best start in all of Major League Baseball since the Mariners went 31-9 in 2001. All told, the Dodgers cruised through the rest of the season and finished with the best record in the league. Their dominance was displayed in all aspects, leading the league in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed.
In the NL Wild Card round, the Dodgers defeated the Brewers in two games behind the strong pitching of Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw. They outscored the Brewers by a combined total of 7-2. Although the Padres had a strong regular season with 37 wins, they were no match for the Dodgers in the Divisional Series. Los Angeles swept the Padres in three by a combined score of 23-9. Urias, Kershaw and Dustin May recorded the wins. On to the NLCS and the Dodgers faced the Braves. Struggling much of the beginning of the series, the Dodgers lost three of the first four, with their only win early in the series being a 15-3 thrashing in the third game. Urias got the win in that one, with losses to Kershaw, Blake Treinen and Tony Gonsolin in the other three. After being down 3-1 in the series the Dodgers stormed back to win three consecutive games to capture the NL Pennant.
The Dodgers fielded the following starting lineup for much of the season: Will Smith at catcher, Max Muncy at first base, Chris Taylor at second base, Corey Seager at shortstop, and Justin Turner at third base. In the outfield was Joc Pederson or AJ Pollock in left field, Cody Bellinger in center field, and Mookie Betts in right field. The starting pitchers were Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Walker Buehler, and Ross Stripling. Kenley Jansen was the closer out of the bullpen.
Statistically speaking, Mookie Betts and AJ Pollock led the team with 16 home runs, followed by Corey Seager with 15. Seager led the team in RBI with 41, followed by Betts with 39. Seager also led the team in hits with 65 and batting average at .307. On the mound, Kershaw led the team in wins (6), innings (58 1/3), strikeouts (62) and ERA (2.16). Kenley Jansen led in saves with 11 while posting an ERA of 3.33.