The Dodgers Have No Excuse to Not Win the World Series

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Early Thursday morning, the Los Angeles Dodgers sounded a massive horn throughout the baseball world. Freddie Freeman and the Dodgers agreed to a six-year, $162 million contract. Freeman will earn $27 million per season, which is the highest AAV among first basemen in baseball history. The reigning World Series champion will join a Dodgers team loaded with talent – from the mound and the plate. The Dodgers already had one of the top two lineups in Major League Baseball, and they now easily boast the best lineup in MLB and a Top Five pitching rotation. The Dodgers have no excuse not to win the World Series this year. 

The Dodgers have captured the NL West title an astounding eight times in the last decade. They’ve been an absolute powerhouse. However, during that tenure, they’ve only captured one World Series title. Dodgers fans during that tenure ought tons of heartache and heartbreak, having the best team most seasons but not being able to capitalize in those seasons. One could argue that they should’ve won last year due to the mid-season acquisitions of Max Scherzer and Trea Turner that complemented a team that was already planning to defend their 2020 World Series title. Even with the departure of Scherzer and SS Corey Seager, the Dodgers send a not-so-new message with the acquisition of Freeman: We can’t stop, and we won’t stop. Our presence will be made known. 

High Expectations

Players of the Dodgers expect to be in October. They have gotten to a point in their understanding that they have what it takes to compete, compete at the highest levels, and on the biggest stages – and frankly, they are absolutely right in their observations. So, in turn, baseball fans and “experts” also expect this. But how the stakes have risen: The 2020 MVP has “joined the brawl” – to quote the all-time great fighting game Super Smash Bros. 

World Series win or bust for the No. 1 Lineup

There is absolutely, unequivocally, positively, no reason that the Dodgers should not win the 2022 World Series; there’s no excuse. Furthermore, it is quite practically a world series or bust. Sorry, World Series win or bust. Fans should rightfully be upset if Dodger players are fully healthy and don’t make it past the NLCS. Here’s the star-studded lineup Freeman just joined:

Mookie Betts 

  • 1x MVP, 2x WS Champion, 5x All-Star, 4x Silver Slugger, 5x Gold Glove, 1x Batting Champ.

Trea Turner

  • WS Champion, 1x All-Star, 1x Batting Champ. 
  • Turner has posted a .850+ OPS in the last three seasons, including an OPS of .911 in 2021, and has had a BA of .298 and above in each of those three seasons.

Cody Bellinger

  • 1x MVP, 1x WS Champion, NLCS MVP, 2x All-Star, Gold Glover, Silver Slugger, and Rookie of the Year.

Justin Turner 

  • WS Champ, NLCS MVP, 2x All-Star.

Max Muncy

  • WS Champion, 2x All-Star

Chris Taylor

  • WS Champion, NLCS MVP, 1x All-Star 

A.J. Pollock

  • WS Champion, 1x All-Star, Gold Glover 

Will Smith

  • WS Champion
  • Will Smith has posted a .860+ OPS in each of the last three seasons (highest for any catcher in MLB for the past three seasons) 

Stars on the Mound

The Dodgers pitching rotation is among the best in the big leagues. Starters Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May could be asked to start any day — eat some innings, fan some guys, get some outs, and get you a win. Relievers Blake Treinen and Brusdar Graterol breath fire from their nostrils and have had some epic holds and saves throughout the course of their Dodger careers. 

Last season, Buehler put up an impressive 2.47 ERA, the third-lowest ERA in all Major League Baseball – right behind future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer and 2021 NL CY Young winner Corbin Burnes. How could we forget about Urías winning TWENTY games last season as a Dodger? Urías put up a 2.29 ERA, and hitters hit .219 off of him and averaged a .614 OPS. That’s good stuff right there. 

Altogether, the Dodgers pitching staff ranked No. 1 in ERA among the NL last season, and the Dodgers lineup ranked #1 in run differential (the total # of runs scored – the total number of runs allowed) in MLB.

NL West: Dodgers For the Taking

It’s fair to say that Los Angeles has had an easy road to the playoffs. However, they had one potential stumbling block: their arch-rivals, San Francisco Giants. However, 34 yr old Giants legend, 3x WS Champ, 1x MVP, and 7x All-Star Buster Posey – who was a huge part of their offense and success last season – retired. The Giants also lost ace Kevin Gausman to the Toronto Blue Jays and star player Kris Bryant to the Colorado Rockies.

The baseball world learned last year never to count the Giants out. The Giants rose from mediocrity, capturing an NL West title and ending the regular season with a 107-55 record, eventually losing in the NLDS to LAD in a five-game set. But will a core of Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Lamonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, and Logan Webb be able to carry the Giants back to a playoff berth and fend off the beast of LA? Let the dominos fall where they may, but the rich have gotten richer while the Giants have gotten, well, not so richer. 

Little Competition in the NL

You can’t look to anyone else to stand in the way of another NL West title for the boys in white and blue. The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Rockies are in rebuilding phases; Even though Colorado just signed Bryant, no one usually knows what the Rockies have up their sleeves. Especially after trading away Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did they give Arenado away, but they gave also threw in an extra $50 million. As if one of the best, if not the best, third-baseman in baseball was a below-average bat and glove the Rockies DESPERATELY needed to get rid of. 

As far as the San Diego Padres go, their star player Fernando Tatis Jr. had wrist surgery on Wednesday. His return is set for approximately… three months. In 2021, their offense ranked 17th in OPS and 14th in runs scored.  Tatis was a big part of the Padres offense in 2021; the Padres will be without him during the first three months of 2022. 

The Dodgers should absolutely win the World Series

The 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers have everything they need (and more) to win the NL West. They have enough to compete for their second World Series title in three seasons.  Should they not get there, it would be a travesty. Overall, it would add to the long list of seasons where the Dodgers fell short of winning it all. 

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Players Mentioned:

Freddie Freeman, Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Corey Seager, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, A.J. Pollock, Will Smith, Julio Urías, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, Dustin May, Blake TreinenBrusdar Graterol, Corbin Burnes, Buster Posey, Kevin Gausman, Kris Bryant, Brandon Crawford, Brandon Belt, Lamonte Wade Jr., Joc Pederson, Logan Webb, Nolan Arenado, Fernando Tatis Jr.