2020-07-12 12:30:00 EDT
The Los Angeles Dodgers are heavy favorites to take the National League pennant in the 2020 MLB season.
Los Angeles finished with a great 106-56 record in 2019, the best regular-season mark in franchise history. The Dodgers’ World Series aspirations were crushed relatively quickly however, as they fell to the eventual champion Nationals in the Division Series. In 2020, LA will look to get some revenge with a championship ring. Check back all season long for free MLB picks and MLB predictions at Sports Chat Place.
Let’s take a closer look at the Dodgers’ current status and break down the team’s chances at hitting their projected win total this season.
Los Angeles put together one of the best regular seasons in MLB history last year, and they were a juggernaut for pretty much the entire way. The Dodgers won the National League West by a whopping 21 games (Arizona was next-closest at 85 wins), and really only had issues with a few teams. Oddly enough, LA went 10-10 versus American League teams, and even had a losing record versus St. Louis (3-4) in the season series. The series numbers versus Arizona (11-8) and San Francisco (12-7) probably should have been a little better, but realistically there’s not much to complain about here. Outside of the very early playoff exit, that is.
In any case, 2020 will feature a heavy dose of National League West fun for the Dodgers; they’ll play 10 games each versus Arizona, San Francisco, Colorado and San Diego. The Giants and Diamondbacks will likely be the biggest challenges to the Dodgers within the division once again this year. Los Angeles also gets AL West games on the schedule in 2020. Houston and Oakland figure to be the major competition from that division and Texas should be an improved team.
The Dodgers again boast a speedy, strong and well-rounded potential lineup in 2020. Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux kick things off well at the top of the order and should plate a ton of runs. Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger each have the power to hit 10-15 home runs this year, and the rest of the batting order doesn’t really let up when it comes to talent. Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, AJ Pollock and company are all intimidating bats. Were this a complete season, the Dodgers would have another prime opportunity to break their own NL season home run record. There aren’t many weaknesses on paper.
Los Angeles also boasts a strong pitching rotation headlined by ace Clayton Kershaw, who posted a 16-5 record with a 3.03 ERA in 2019. Walker Buehler also has the potential for a strong season after his 14-4 mark and 3.26 ERA last year. Then there’s Alex Wood, Julio Urias and Ross Stripling to potentially round out the starting five. Each of those guys projects a sub-4.00 ERA; as with the batting order, there aren’t too many weaknesses here either.
Pick: I think I’m going over. Make no mistake, a team winning 2/3 of its games in a highly unpredictable and unprecedented MLB season is a tall order, but the Dodgers certainly have the talent to do that this season. So long as there’s not a surprise surge from one of the other teams, LA’s only realistic divisional threat in 2020 is Arizona. Beyond that, there should be a few challenging teams from the AL West but nothing the Dodgers can’t handle. I think it’ll be yet another division championship this year for the Dodgers.