World Series Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
It is what we have waited since February for. The fall classic, baseball’s best of the best. This will be Part 1 of the 2-Part series, taking a more in-depth look at each team. Tonight’s, look is at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The owner of Major League Baseball’s Best Record. Los Angeles took home the NL West crown this season and will represent the National League in the Fall Classic.
104-58 NL WEST CHAMPIONS
NLDS vs Arizona Diamondbacks: 3-0
NLCS vs Chicago Cubs: 4-1
The Dodger Way
When we look back to the stretch in September, when everyone was off of the Dodgers. Saying they were done. The best team in baseball till that point, was finished. They lost 11 straight, and were the joke of baseball. They lost 16 of their last 18 games at that point in time. A smooth sail for Cubs or Nationals to take the NL Pennant and represent the National League in the World Series. Now, they are the best team in baseball and finished with the best record. Los Angeles has rewrote their ship, to say the least. Since September 21st, they have gone 15-3, and 7-1 in the playoffs.
They have made it completely look easy, dominate pitching, dominate offense. The Dodger staff, surrendered a mere 7 homeruns, which were the only source of Cubs runs in the NLCS. 6 of them were solo homeruns, as my pitching coach in college said, “Solo homeruns, do not hurt you” At one point in this series, the Cubs didn’t even sniff a hit against the Dodger bullpen. Want to know how dominate this bullpen has been this post season? The perfect scenario, was game 3 against Chicago. Runners on 2nd and 3rd nobody out. Dave Roberts goes to his closer, Kenley Jansen to come out and shut this game down, in a non save situation. You could feel the Cubs had some life, knowing that in a 5 run game, they wouldn’t see the man they have yet to make solid contact off of. Jansen comes in, get a infield pop-up. 1 out. Strikeout. 2 out. Strike out. Game over. Every time the Cubs got anything remotely close to momentum, it was snatched from them. Dodger relievers have thrown 23 consecutive scoreless innings. Throughout the series, the Dodgers absolutely stunned Chicago bats, allowing a .156 batting average against, and made 53 Cubbies swing and miss.
What the Cubs couldn’t do, the Dodgers did. Anytime the Cubs threated, the Dodgers answered. Picking up right where they left off against Arizona in the NLDS. In just 8 games this post season, the Dodgers have scored 48 runs, absurd. NLCS Co-MVP, Justin Turner has been on a different planet, this post season. Had two homers, 7 RBIs, and 5 walks in this series alone. Turner with RISP is hitting, .737, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs, and 20 RBI. Other Co-MVP, Chris Taylor, was just as impressive, and the key fire starter for this offense. It wasn’t even the numbers he put up, it was quality at bat after quality at bat. The Dodger bats, were greeted by unsung hero’s this whole series and in the playoffs in general. Yasiel Puig, is what all of Los Angeles has been waiting for. Basically on his way out of LA last season, to licking his bat and being the player he was in his previous life. A Dodger legend, who probably a handful of people knew was still playing, in Andre Either, coming in and bomb dropping in Game 3. And then Enrique Hernandez has the greatest night of his life, hitting 3 tatters including a grand slam. No matter what Dave Roberts did to his line up, it worked.
Game 1: Clayton Kershaw: Clayton Kershaw, is Clayton Kershaw. He was somewhat proved his post season struggles are gone. He will be going on his normal day rest. This gives the Dodgers the best opportunity, the face of the franchise on normal rest. 2-0 this post season, striking out 16, in 3 starts.
Game 2- Rich Hill: The southpaw, has been fairly decent in his 2 starts thus far. The 37-year-old has a 1-2 career record in the playoffs, and has been giving the no decision in both starts this year. In his 9 innings, he has struck out 12, and only allowed 6 hits. His ability to mix speeds and sneak FB’s by hitters is going to be the key. Control the strikeout.
Game 3-Yu Darvish: Arguably, the best pitcher on staff since coming to LA via the trade in July, Darvish has been masterful this post season. He is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 2 starts. His game 3 performance was lights out. He struck out 7 on just 81 pitches. Oh yes, he drew an RBI walk. Not only shutting down offenses, he is a pitchers nightmare on the plate.
Game 4- Alex Wood: If and only if, there is a weak link to the Dodgers rotation. He started their only loss this postseason. Giving up 3 runs in just 4 innings. It is not fair to put say that, considering the wind was blowing out and it was really the only 3 balls the Cubs barreled up all game. It was the first game he has started in the playoffs, in 5 appearances. Let’s not forget, Mr. Wood went 16-3 this season with a sub 3 ERA.
Why the Dodgers will win the World Series?
Los Angeles has weathered their storm in September. Everyone but the Dodgers counted themselves out. Cleveland was going to run away with the title this year, and everyone would have blamed Dave Roberts. The special thing about this team is that they have been doing it all year. You don’t win 104 games, and not be good. They lost 11 in a row, and 16 of 18 at one point and still won 104 games. That is insane. The reason why they lost those games was because baseball. Baseball is a cruel game and will humble you, and bring you down. Which it did. The Dodgers were rewarded with break, after break, after break, in the early part of the year. They were winning games that could have went either way. The fire they have lit right now is special. Their season is special. This bullpen is lights out. This offense can put up 7 in a hurry. Starting pitching is deep. If this series goes 7 games, that’s Kershaw twice (maybe 3) and Hill or Darvish twice. Not many teams want to face that. Lets not forget about Kenley Jansen who hasn’t allow a hit in what seems like ever. If everything stays the same, there is not a team in the American League that can match what they have in every aspect of the game. Corey Seagar is also expected back for the World Series. There is too much depth, offensively, starting rotation, and bullpen wise, to think that the Dodgers wouldn’t be the all around favorite to win the whole thing.