The Colorado Rockies will have to face the Los Angeles Dodgers nine fewer times in 2020.
With the season being shortened by 102 games in 2020, the Colorado Rockies will face the Los Angeles Dodgers nine fewer times in 2020 and considering how the Rockies have fared against the Dodgers in recent years, the Rockies won’t be shedding any tears over that. None of the other NL West teams will be shedding tears either.
As you likely know if you are a Rockies fan or a baseball fan in general, the Dodgers are, at least on paper, the best team in the National League. That played out differently in the postseason in 2019 but, on paper, they really don’t have much of a competitor in the National League.
If you don’t believe me, here’s what their Opening Day Lineup would likely be.
- Catcher Will Smith
- 1st baseman Max Muncy
- 2nd baseman Gavin Lux
- 3rd baseman Justin Turner
- Shortstop Corey Seager
- Left fielder AJ Pollock
- Center fielder Cody Bellinger
- Right fielder Mookie Betts
If Pollock could stay healthy (which he might be able to, considering the length of the 2020 season), that is probably the best outfield in the entire sport with the addition of Betts.
Between Betts and Bellinger in the last four seasons (Bellinger has only played three seasons in the majors total), the duo has two MVPs and six Top 10 finishes in MVP voting.
The Dodgers have been shakier in the pitching department. They say that pitching wins championships so maybe that’s why they haven’t won any in more than 30 years, despite having winning numerous NL West titles and having the best record in the NL in the last decade.
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Here’s what their pitching staff would likely be if they had 13 pitchers.
- SP Clayton Kershaw (L)
- SP Walker Buehler
- SP David Price (L)
- SP Julio Urias (L)
- SP Alex Wood (L)
- Long Reliever Jimmy Nelson
- Middle Reliever Ross Stripling
- MR Dylan Floro
- MR Adam Kolarek (L)
- MR Blake Treinen
- Set-up man Joe Kelly
- SU Pedro Baez
- Closer Kenley Jansen
Other guys like top-prospects Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, and Brusdar Graterol would likely contribute to their pitching staff during the season as well, especially with expanded rosters at the start of the season.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Their biggest strengths are their offense and their overall depth. The Dodgers have about 50 guys that could be on any other team’s roster and some guys on their bench that would be everyday starters on most teams, like Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez.
Their biggest problem in the regular season has been their bullpen as Jansen has been getting worse each of the last two seasons and the rest of the bullpen is not great. If Kelly, Baez, and Treinen (a new acquisition) pitch as well as they have in past years, then the bullpen may become a strength for the Dodgers.
Their biggest problem overall is that they aren’t good in the postseason. They made it to the World Series in 2017 and 2018 but they haven’t been great in the World Series and they wet the bed in the NLDS last year.
Kershaw has never been particularly good in the playoffs (9-11, 4.43 ERA, 32 games/25 starts, 158 1/3 IP) and Bellinger has been even worse in his short tenure with the Dodgers (36 games, .178/.234/.326 slash line). He won the 2018 NLCS MVP but he still only hit .200/.231/.360 in the series.
Win Projections and Betting Odds
FanGraphs projects that the Dodgers will be 38-22 in the 60-game season, which would be four games better than any other NL team and one game better than the Yankees for the best record in baseball. They also have the Dodgers’ chances at making the playoffs at 73 percent, which is the highest of any team.
BetOnline also has similar numbers to FanGraphs as the over/under number on the Dodgers is 37.5, which, yet again, is the highest total for any team in the NL and in baseball, in general.
Barring any drastic changes or injuries, the Dodgers will be in the playoffs and, frankly, that’s when their season starts. Maybe they will actually be able to win the World Series in a shortened season.