A shortened MLB season might be coming. The Dodgers’ NL West rivals hope the truncated season increases their odds of dethroning the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Which NL West team benefits the most from a three month season?
The season could be 20 games and the Colorado Rockies would still have pitching problems. The young San Diego Padres still feel like they are a year away from relevancy. The San Francisco Giants, although improved from 2019, feature a thin rotation once you get beyond a surgically repaired Johnny Cueto.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks, fresh off an 85 win season, check a lot of boxes of a playoff team: ace with playoff experience (Madison Bumgarner), solidified closer (Archie Bradley), sluggers (Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar, Christian Walker), plus gloves in the outfield (Starling Marte, Kole Calhoun, and David Peralta), up and coming starter (Zac Gallen), and a young manager with experience (Troy Luvello).
Every time the Dodgers have started slow (2013, 2016, 2018) they’ve had a full four months to right the ship. If a 50 or 60 game season is coming down the pipe, and hopefully not down the drain, the Diamondbacks could be in prime position to capitalize on an uneven start from the Dodgers.
Last season, Arizona played their best baseball in August and September (31-22). They finished four games out of a Wild Card spot due to a lackluster first half (46-45). In a season this short, a hot week or two could thrust an upstart team into the driver’s seat ahead of a presumed division favorite – even in the NL West.
Two bad starts from an ace. A 20 game hitting slump by an All-Star. A handful of one run games going the other way. All blips on the radar in a six month season, vehicles to disaster in a three month schedule.
This uber-talented Dodger team will have to come out of the block quickly in this sprint of a season.