Dodgers: Max Muncy is Still Taking LA Over the Padres in the West

It’s been a quiet offseason for the Dodgers, but it’s been loud for a lot of other teams. One of those teams is the Padres, who brought back two key pitchers in Robert Suarez and Nick Martinez and signed Matt Carpenter, Nelson Cruz, Seth Lugo, and Xander Bogaerts. The disparity this winter, along with San Diego getting Fernando Tatis Jr. back and a full season of Juan Soto, has a lot of people thinking the Padres have passed Los Angeles as the team to beat in the National League West.

Max Muncy is not one of those people. Muncy talked with Dodgers Nation recently, and he says LA is still the team to beat.

“I mean, we’re always going to think we’re the team to beat. We have to have that mindset. As far as I’m concerned, we’re still the ones on top. We’ve won the division, what is it, eight out of the last nine years, or nine out of the last ten years, I don’t know how long it is at this point. We are still the Dodgers and as far as I’m concerned we’re still an extremely good team.

“Yeah, the Padres made a lot of good moves. They were already an extremely good team, they’re going to be tough to beat, there’s no doubt about that. But that’s what makes baseball fun. It’s going to be a battle out there every single night for us. And it’s something that a lot of the guys on this team are used to. We’re used to everyone coming after us. It’s not going to be any different. Nothing’s going to get handed to us and it’s never been that way.”

The mere fact that it’s a question is kind of refreshing at this point. The Dodgers obviously lost the West by one game in 2021 to a fluky season from the Giants, and they needed a Game 163 in 2018 to beat out the Rockies. The other eight years of this streak, though? Yeah, the division hasn’t really been very close.

There’s some added heat here, of course, because it was San Diego that knocked Los Angeles out of the playoffs last year after finishing 22 games behind them in the regular season. Have the Padres made up the 22-game gap between them and the Dodgers this offseason? It’s at least a possibility, and that’s exciting.

But as Muncy says, until the Padres prove otherwise, the division still belongs to the Dodgers. One bad week by LA last October doesn’t change that — only 162 games can.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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