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Dodgers: MLB Expert Doubts LA’s Chances Without Mookie Betts

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian believes the Dodgers will have a tough time in the playoffs if Betts isn’t fully healthy.



Superstar Mookie Betts is officially on the injured list again as of Wednesday. Betts was scratched from the lineup before Tuesday’s contest in Philadelphia. The reason? His ailing right hip.

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian discussed the news on Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney. Kurkjian remarked that even when Betts returns, the Dodgers might not be the same powerhouse squad.

“If Mookie Betts is hurt and Clayton Kershaw is as hurt perhaps as bad you [Olney] suggest, then they’re a different team.”

Mookie has slashed a respectable .277/.378/.521 this season, but has played in just 87 of the Dodgers 114 games this season (76%). Whether it’s his back, shoulder, or hip, Betts hasn’t been fully healthy all year.

The Impact of Betts in the Playoffs

Arguably the best player in the league, Betts’s clutch plays in the field and on the base paths were a big reason the Dodgers finally won that elusive title in 2020. It’s also a big reason that Kurkjian isn’t just penciling the Dodgers back into the Fall Classic.

“Mookie Betts was as big a reason as any that they won the World Series last year. He won two World Series games with his glove and his legs. If he’s not the same player because he’s not moving well enough with a bad hip, then yes, the Dodgers have their work cut out for them on every level to try and compete.”

Before the season began, Olney and Kurkjian both agreed that the Dodgers were destined for another World Series appearance. The team had more than enough starters, a retooled bullpen, and a loaded lineup featuring Betts in the leadoff spot. That was then, this is now.

Final Thoughts

The Dodgers still have plenty of talent on the roster to continue to win games while Mookie nurses his hip. Catching the Giants is still even a possibility.

There is no debate, however, that they’ll need Betts for another deep postseason run.

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Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Favorite Dodger Stadium food is the old school chocolate malt with the wooden spoon. Host of the Dodgers Nation 3 Up, 3 Down Podcast.

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  1. I do debate the Dodgers need Betts for a deep post season run. You don’t think our current roster, if they ever start clicking can compete with every team in baseball? People put thin in the WS before they got Trea and Scherzer.

  2. They will catch the Giant before the end of August, then streak to another WS title at an .800 rate.

    • The Dodgers will catch the Giants, when the Dodgers and other good teams like the Astros and Brewers stop rolling over every time they play S.F. and have them on the ropes. I realize that the Giants have done a great job this season putting pressure on teams, especially late in games with games on the line, but battle-tested teams like the Dodgers, Astros and Brewers have folded like a cheap suit when they had an opportunity to make just one more play to close out the game. The Giants are good, but they have received a ridiculous amount of help from even their toughest opponents who, on what should be the last play of the game, drop fly balls, boot routine grounders or like the Dodgers did in 1 game, couldn’t execute a force out at 2nd that would have ended the game. Doesn’t make any sense…

        • Not only that but if Dodgers play Padres in that one and done WC game , the Padres will simply run at the will and steal bases against them. And rest assured, Dodgers will face Snell, a LHP in that game . One and done.

      • Absolutely agree with you! The last time that we played them, we gave the Giants at least two games and the Brewers, as well as the Astros, also gifted the Giants by missing what should have been “routine” plays. Also, let’s not forget that the Giants struggled against the D-backs (!) and managed to get the “W” by D-backs’ messy playing in the latter innings. It doesn’t make sense, but it is what it is right now. Dodgers still have a chance to catch up to them; but, we will have to be performing on all cylinders. Does not help us that Betts and Kershaw are out and the Giants’ luck (alongside solid playing) does not seem to be running out.

    • The Giants are going to think they’re better than they actually are when October baseball rolls around. Having all those gift wrapped wins will work against them unless of course teams continue to play bush league vs them

  3. Although 1 player is not the end all be all, the fact that the Dodgers have T. Turner should buffer them from not having enough to get the job done because Betts might be out.
    Any way you look at it, not having Betts for an extended time period, if that happens, is huge, is a big challenge for the Dodgers.
    But Turner is so similar to Betts in every aspect of the game, in fact, he’s faster than Betts, a more accomplished base stealer than Betts and he hits for power.
    The Dodgers have plenty of ammunition offensively, if everybody does their job, consistently.
    The concerns are the SPing depth, the BP and the inconsistent defense and maybe most importantly, the fact that as the defending WS champs, the Dodgers are finding out what every N.L. team has found out since the Reds won back to back in ’75-’76–that it’s almost impossible to repeat and you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, as the champs.

  4. The Dodgers to me, look like a team that is tired, played more baseball than anyother team in the majors for the last 8 years. It’s been a awesome run that has made us fans spoiled, but also this fan is really frustrated at ALL that October baseball with only 1 Ring….It actually will be a miracle if this team even get’s back to the series. Last year the team was tighter, more focused, healthier and they all lived together for a couple months. This year they’re All over the place, a few of them have personal agenda’s, Roberts shuffles lineups like it’s a deck of cards never gaining any continuity. Players from scrap heaps in and out of the the line ups. They don’t really look too concerned about anything , so I guess we fans should just ignore all the signs that point to complacency.

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