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.