Before reading onward – don’t worry about a Sports Illustrated jinx. Right now, the Dodgers avoid the cover of the magazine typically unwanted. However, they’re getting some heavy praise from a big-time baseball writer.
Moreover, Tom Verducci writes that the Los Angeles Dodgers are poised for yet another World Series run in 2019. While no team is designed perfect – the Dodgers included – Verducci lists a litany of reasons that the Dodgers should be a lock to win the NL Pennant for a third straight year.
If you think the World Series doesn’t run through Los Angeles…Tom Verducci says think again https://t.co/XVzB2b85ZF
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 23, 2019
Before we get to the money quote or two, let’s take a list of the reasons that Verducci sees the Dodgers getting through the NL field of teams that stand in their way.
Six Reasons The Dodgers Will Make The World Series
Verducci lists six reasons the Dodgers will make the World Series. Here they are, get out your notepad:
- The Dodgers have one of the deepest benches in baseball history this season.
- Los Angeles chases fewer pitches as an offense than any team in the league.
- They have mastered swing changes in the ‘Launch Angle’ era.
- Left-handed pitching doesn’t phase the Dodgers’ lineup.
- Clayton Kershaw is a great number three starter.
- They are an insanely good defensive team.
Without question, these are all reasons to be comforted during a time when all are concerned with the bullpen. My opinion has remained that barring something odd, the Dodgers are a great bet to make the World Series. I don’t think anyone would argue too much on that.
The regular season should be seen as the dress rehearsal. This team had expectations in Spring Training to get back there with a ‘no big deal’ attitude. My mind drifts back to David Freese’s quote among others in this very article. The question is can the blemishes be fixed enough to win a title?
Dave Roberts’ Quotes
The Dodgers’ manager talks within the article of the team’s lineup juggling. Furthermore, he says there is a reason you see guys all over the lineup card; and it’s strategic!
“Everybody in baseball is (changing their lineup) now–or trying to. They’re still trying to fight that fight of moving guys around. We’ve already fought that fight. So now it’s like I’m hitting Corey Seager seventh. Why? I don’t want to give Gabe [Kapler] a run of lefties.”
Roberts’ thought process is to have each hitter in a perfect spot. For example, he talks about hitting Max Muncy behind Cody Bellinger to prepare for what might come.
“You can’t always count on Cody hitting two homers, especially in the postseason,” Roberts said. “They are going to pitch around him. So now when they do pitch around him, am I watching Max Muncy and how he takes his at-bats after they walk Cody? Yeah. And he’s handled it really well.”
For one, I love Muncy keeping the opponent honest behind Bellinger. As the season grinds towards October baseball, you will continue to see teams pitch around Bellinger without a true idea of how to attack him in the strike zone. Then, it will be up to Muncy and others down the lineup to do damage.
Sports Illustrated is merely reminding us of the things we already know. Or perhaps, the things we should remember about this dangerous 2019 team. Surely, they are not perfect; and no team is. However, they absolutely have the mark of a championship club and have as good of a shot as any team in baseball to win it all.
Time will tell the story, as with all things.