Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Dodgers Still Heavy Favorites To Win World Series

Clayton Kershaw

The Dodgers (67-60) have certainly sucked since returning to play from the MLB all-star break. The Dodgers had to embark on a three-city ten game road trip to Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Atlanta immediately after the break. They went 6-4 on that trip, but since then have gone 8-12, and have now lost seven of their last ten games. Since the all-star break the Dodgers are 13-17 and now sit in third place in the National League west.

The Dodgers have sucked in almost every facet of the game since the midsummer classic. The offense has been inconsistent and streaky. They have nearly non-existent situational hitting and currently have one of the worst bullpens in baseball put together by Andrew Friedman. It’s not just the terrible relief pitching, lack of hitting with runners in scoring position and overall lack of urgency, but also sloppy defense with several regulars playing out of position. Of course injuries have decimated the club all season long. Despite all signs pointing to the Dodgers playing golf in October, many online betting odds makers are still picking the Dodgers to win the World Series.

The Dodgers are getting good odds, but while the odds are good, the goods are definitely odd. The Dodger’s lackluster game management and poor strategies consisting of short starts and long bullpen games has resulted in a horde of relievers rotating on and off the disabled list with a laundry list of ailments. Sore shoulders, blown arms, inflamed elbows and such have destroyed the Dodger bullpen. That’s caused the front office to go dumpster diving acquiring several minor league castoffs and journeymen relievers who are immediately thrust into late inning-late game situations.

The Dodgers are the club who came within one game of winning the World Series last season. The Dodgers won 104 games in 2017, finishing with the best record in baseball. The boys in blue steamrolled through the National League playoffs and took the Houston Astros to game 7 of the World Series before folding up like a beach chair. So you would think that after winning the National League pennant, the Dodgers would be adding players. Guess again. Instead the front office refused to participate in the annual hot stove league choosing to sit out and lower payroll. While all the other clubs acquired good pitchers, reloaded their rosters and generally improved, the Dodgers signed Tom Koehler.

The apologists, Friedman fan boys, optimists and delusionals will tell you this is great. They saved money, is what they will say. Instead of improving the pitching staff or retaining their best relievers the front office decided that it was more important to stay below the luxury tax. The delusionals will explain that they’re doing this to load up for a run at Bryce Harper, who is a free agent at season’s end. Yet it’s hard to picture this front office signing any marquee free agents.

The optimists will tell you that the Dodgers are still doing great. They’re one of the best they will shout at you. Yet reality doesn’t lie. Sure the Dodgers still have one of the best run differentials in MLB (+99) and are only 3.5 games back of first place in the National League West. But if the Dodgers are so good, then how come they’ve won just three series since the all-star break? How come they have the eighth best record in the National League?

Many Dodger fans are blaming manager Dave Roberts for their pathetic play. However Roberts doesn’t have the horses this year and is burdened by a horrific bullpen. The Dodgers indeed have one of the worst bullpens we have seen in recent years. Can the Dodgers recover and still win the NL West? Surely they can. Will they win or even get to the World Series this year? Well….I wouldn’t bet on it.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

21 thoughts on “Dodgers Still Heavy Favorites To Win World Series

  1. I hate to break the news to you but the way gamblers work, “good odds” on the Dodgers simply means there are quite a few delusional Dodger fans who are dumb enough to put their money where their heart is instead of making a more intelligent choice. Odds simply show where the bettors stand, not who the gambler really thinks (or cares) who will probably win. At this point it would take more than 20 to 1 odds to get me to bet on them…

  2. I am responding to Badger’s post at the end of the last thread where he asked “We haven’t hit worth spit WRISP since 2014. I looked it up – 1st in ‘14, 22nd in ‘15, 23rd in ‘16, 25th in ‘17, and 20th this year. What happened between the ‘14 and ‘15 season that would cause such a dramatic drop off? Well here is what happened between 2014 and 2015”. FAZ took over that is what happened!!!! Oh and Roberts became the manager after the 2015 season. That is what happened to this team. We went with the sabre game of all or nothing and match ups for match ups. It’s what the computer says to do!!! And then throw in the puzzling Roberts moves and this is the Dodgers. Yes we have won the west 5 times and went to the World Series, THAT ISD WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN. Not this crap that is being put in front of us this year.

    I will put the blame at 60/40, with the 60 part being the front office and the 40 part being a combination of Roberts and the players. Yes Roberts can only play with the players the FO gave him, and they are one huge group of underachievers this year. Was last year truly an illusion? Roberts in game managing is the shits and nobody can argue against that. The players are the ones who hit the ball, field the ball etc… But how can a player excel when they never know what position they are going to play and even when the hell they will be playing. By the time a player makes it to the majors they are creatures of habit. Kershaw is the epitome of that. How can they get comfortable with all of the shuffling going on? Get in a groove? Time to sit so little Johnny can play too. Geez, do they all get participation trophies at the end?

    I forget who said it a few days ago but a lot of these sabre numbers are just made up by some geeks who never played the game, and when something happens that they don’t have an algorithm for they dismiss it. And the same numbers and names for these things are just some fancy way for them to quantify what was seen by the naked eye. Credit to the person/s who previously wrote what I just quoted.

    I have gone to at least one game every year since 1966, and I even had season tickets for 4 years. It’s a three and a half hour drive each way for me to see a game. So it was always a labor of love for me. This will be the first year I will miss a game, and it will be 100% by choice. When Guggs took over I said right out of the gate that they will not own this team in about 5 years. I still stand by that. They are a hedge fund management company and hedge funds don’t carry assets long term. And they are under investigation by the SEC and a few other gubment organizations. There are ton of very wealthy people who want to own a sports franchise and I am quite sure there will be no shortage of very qualified bidders.

  3. The pundits certainly have a sense of humor. This team has had zero chance of winning since spring, that went totally south when they lost Corey Seager. Losing Seager weakened the offense and caused them to play a bunch of guys out of position. The defense suffered, the offense suffered until Muncy and Kemp got a little help from players who were slumping and the return of Turner from the DL. Puig has been the most consistent player since the beginning of June, but losing Seager, and the lack of production forced them to have to trade for offense at the deadline instead of fixing a leaky bullpen. Forshyte was a total bust and will be remembered as one of FAZ’s biggest failures. Although there have been some bursts, there has been no sustained drive. Roberts is not the entire problem, but for a guy who is supposed to be buying into FAZ’s saber metric gobbledygook, he goes against the grain with his lineups. Case in point. Stats show Machado is way more productive in the 3 hole. Roberts bats him second for close to a month. Stats show Kike is probably the worst 4 hole hitter in the league, and Roberts kept sticking him in there against lefty’s because of his so called lefty hitting prowess and he totally tanked. This team does not have the talent or depth to win. They are going to be extremely lucky to make it to the playoffs, and if they do, watch for another early exit.

  4. Phillies trade for Luis Avilan from the White Sox. Sox get a minor leaguer in return. Avilan is 2-1 with 2 saves and 9 holds and an ERA in the mid 3’s.

  5. “FAZ took over that is what happened!!!!”


    I agree that the Guggs time may be short. They can turn a profit on $2 billion so I expect them to do it. The first time I heard you say that Tim it resonated with me. Still does. And this is the first year since I’ve lived down here I’ve not taken in ST or a game at Chase. I did buy the mlbtv package, so I’ve seen most of the games.

    Bear, we managed to get into first place without Seager. Now we have Machado? Damn. Nice pickup. When the squirrels hit, we can beat anybody. The pitching has been off and on too. When it is all working we are good enough to compete with the best teams in the NL. The problem of course is consistency. We haven’t had it anywhere on this team – offensively, in the rotation or in the bullpen. And to think you have enough to overcome such terrible RISP numbers is folly. You gotta hit with ducks on the pond. That’s been true since the Dodgers were the Bridegrooms.

    Like I said, I’m not throwing in the towel. But the towel is in my hand.

    1. I agree with most of that, but I think losing Seager was a bigger blow than you do. If Taylor was Taylor of last year, it might not have been so bad. But Forsythe contributed nothing, Turner was out close to a month. Barnes was terrible and still is, injury’s kept piling up. Bellinger is not close to the force he was last year. Yeah, they have some nice pieces, but expecting the squirrels to be consistent is wishful thinking as is thinking they have depth. Machado was a nice pickup, but he is not even close to the guy he was in Baltimore. Dozier has been about what I expected. The biggest surprise was Kemp and as you said earlier, he is running on empty right now. I agree he needs a little rest, so DL him for 10 days, which takes you to September, bring up Verdugo and see what he can do, and that also makes him eligible for the playoffs, if these slugs can get off of their ass and win the division. But I am not holding my breath. Yeah, they can beat teams, but they can’t beat anyone in their own division except the Padres. Giants, D-Backs and Rocks all have an edge on them. They are having real trouble over the last couple of weeks beating anyone. As a matter of fact, in August, they are pretty bad. Middle of the pack stats are not going to get it done. Either they get extremely hot, or they are going home. And do you think Kersh is coming back to a mess like this? Machado will most likely move on. FAZ has failed and so has Guggs. I remember the press conference where they said they were going to bring a championship back to LA. They all have failed in that pursuit.

      1. I think losing Seager was a big deal. I didn’t mean to make light of it, but we did get back into first before we picked up Machado, and though I do agree he wasn’t what he had been in Baltimore, he has been that guy the last two weeks, slashing .292/.370/.521. It’s even better the last 7 days, but it hasn’t been enough. We are 3-7 in our last 10.

        We agree that the measure of success of this group will be fulfilling the stated goal of bringing a championship back to LA. We were already pretty damn good when these guys got here. But obviously there have been, and still are, teams that are better than us.

        1. Well this is 2 days in a row for rest for Kemp. Guess Joc leaving 7 on base wasn’t enough. The Dummy puts Joc in again. I wish that jerk was gone.

          1. Ah Pack, ya just don’t get how it works. There are a lot of people who want Roberts replaced. And Kemp has been okay lately. Joc has not been playing much over the last couple of weeks because of all of the lefty’s that have faced. So it is logical for Dave to play him whenever they face a righty. When you look at it, they really do not lose a lot when Joc plays. His average is lower than Matt, but they both have 18 HR’s. As long as Roberts is managing this team, and barring a total collapse, he will be back, he is FAZ’s fair haired boy.

  6. I’m a Kemp fan, I’m not trying to get rid of him, just throwing this idea out there:
    Cleveland is hurting for outfielders. Would it be worth half of next years salary, maybe $11 MM, plus the remainder of this year’s, maybe $4 MM, to take Kemp off FAZ’s hands? They could use him in the outfield and as DH, and I think FAZ would jump on that offer. Probably the best thing for Kemp as well. He almost assuredly would get to the playoffs.

    1. Kemp currently looks like a tired old dude. And looking at last year’s similar fade, I doubt any team would be interested. But, it’s worth a phone call.

      1. Here is the big problem with that idea Pack. First, all 5 of those guys has to get through waivers. Verdugo would never clear waivers. Neither would Taylor. Joc Kike and Toles might. Still, the Indians have to want them. They might want Verdugo or Taylor, but Taylor is not having a great year. How much do you think you would get for Kike, who is barely above .220? Or Joc, who has been slumping. Someone has to want what you have and be willing to give up something back that you need. The Indians are in first place, and really, they do not need a bunch of FAZ’s castoffs. Also, they have 3 guys getting close to coming off of the DL, Fields, Urias and Cingrani, along with Goeddel and Chargois when they are ready. Stripling will be off of the DL sometime next week. They are not going to trade for something they consider a strength. What they really need is some consistency at the plate.

  7. I was just watching Matt Carpenter’s last at-bat, and the strike zone displayed on TV went from his belt to his ankles. Very hard to judge it from a spectators point of view

    1. Tim, what I notice from game to game regarding the strike zone box on TV, is the fluctuating calls from the plate umps from one game to the next. I know they are only human and each will view the action differently, but the variation continues to grab my attention. Then there are the bad calls. Calls that are just plain wrong. There is real value in an automated ball and strike caller. Most of the plate ump’s calls can be decided by replay in the event of challenges. Runners safe at home or tagged out are routinely shown by replays, same with 1B. If human error is such a concern to the fans and players, automation should be considered. Baseball is one of the easier sports to do this with as there are not many players involved with each pending decision like in other sports. Baseball is a rather static game compared to action sports like Basketball, Football, Hockey, Soccer, where there is constant contact and multiple points of contention all over the field.

  8. Jansen blows it again! Wow, this team is officially toast. Especially when your closer blows 2 huge games in a row.

    1. That’s obvious. The point is that they have nobody worth a crap behind him, so if the Doc says he can pitch, well he is going to pitch, right or not. Alexander was not all that impressive either. They should have gotten bullpen help at the deadline, not some limp dick over the hill ass wipe like Axford. If he is not right, he should have used Maeda.

      1. They did get bullpen help at the deadline. The Axman Cameth.

        Urias and Stripling could help. Kasowski might be an option. What’s Stetson Allie done lately? Fields should be ready any minute.

        They have to keep using Jansen. If there is any hope to close this deal he has to be involved.

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