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Can the LA Dodgers Repeat?

The Los Angeles Dodgers are very much on their way to make the playoffs in some form with their 61-40 record so far on the season, but will they be able to repeat as champions this year? Let’s take a look at the case for and against the LA Dodgers repeating as World Series champs:

The Case For the LA Dodgers Repeat:

I mean, this team is 61-40. They’re second in the NL West, but have the second best record overall in the NL and tied for third in the Majors overall. They have 6 starters with an OPS+ over 100, highlighted by All Stars Max Muncy and Chris Taylor. The fact they have this record despite Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger missing significant time due to injuries shows the team has serious firepower. The LA Dodgers are a team you don’t want to face as a pitcher.

Their pitching has been on fire as well, as they currently boast the best staff ERA in the NL at 3.24. Walker Buehler has been great in particular, boasting a 10-1 record with a 2.31 ERA and .909 WHIP. The FIP is a little higher than his ERA, so there might be a little regression there, but it’s still good at 3.20. Clayton Kershaw is currently on the 10 day IL, but he’s still having an above average season as well, with a 3.39 ERA and a .978 WHIP. In short: this team is good all around.

The Case Against the LA Dodgers Repeat:

Now this is all well and good, but there’s a lot to be concerned about with this team. The first is all the injuries this team has sustained. Currently, Mookie Betts, Gavin Lux, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, and Dustin May are all players of note on the IL. With the exception of May, all are expected to join the team before the end of the season, but who knows what other injuries could make their way onto the team? And what if one of these players has a setback? This can happen to any team at any point, but it seems the LA Dodgers in particular have caught the injury bug this year. This isn’t to mention potentially losing Trevor Bauer for the rest of the season.

Despite their offensive success thus far this season, there are still concerns. For one, Cody Bellinger is having an awful year. With a .161 AVG, .274 OBP, and .282 SLG, he has looked nothing like this 2019 MVP self. Chris Taylor just made his first All Star Game at 30. He’s obviously been able to keep his success up for half a season, but this is by far his best season and one has to wonder if he’ll fall back to his career numbers (still good, but not someone you want to rely heavily on).

Further, they’re still only 2nd in the West, meaning they would be in line to play a wild card game against the Padres if the season ended today. Anything can happen in a single game, and the Padres are also a very good team, so there is a significant chance they don’t even make the division series. With how the San Francisco Giants are playing, they’ll have an uphill battle to the World Series.

In Conclusion:

This team is obviously incredibly talented, but injuries and the over-preformace of the Giants have put them in a difficult position to repeat. It’s still very possible for them to do so, but it is definitely not as clear as it was before the season started. We’ll see if they can overcome these obstacles by the time the postseason comes around.

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– Pat Shuman (@PShu1996 on Twitter) Check out my other articles here!

Featured Image Source: MLB.com

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