Dodgers fans around Los Angeles might not be in the best of moods this afternoon. After dropping a game to the Astros that should have been well in hand, it’s understandable. The hated Houston team came back against Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen and poured on runs in the 9th inning.
Despite that loss and playing rather poorly as of late, there is always a silver lining. ESPN insider Buster Olney made an appearance on our Blue Heaven podcast this week to talk about the outlook for our Dodgers. For Buster, the biggest surprise has been how well the team has done despite a lack of contribution from key players.
It is amazing that we’re talking about them just a week ago on them being on this unbelievable record-type of trajectory…we talked about them last week being on a pace for 123 wins and +420 run differential…and yet they’re not really hitting on all cylinders. Cody Bellinger is not doing great, Max Muncy has not really taken off. They do have guys in their lineup that you can see them getting hot.
To say that Cody Bellinger has been a disappointment in the shortened 2020 seems fair. After winning the NL MVP last year, Bellinger has managed to slash just .212/.291/.418 with a low OPS of .709 thus far. Despite that, the Dodgers have still found a way to put up a +96 run differential.
That can be attributed to production from a lot of other guys, something that was not lost on Buster. He talked about how the Dodgers have been able to get it done, and the only real way to beat them in the playoffs.
But they will go into the postseason as the prohibitive favorites, there’s no question about that. Because of the level of talent, because of the addition of Mookie Betts, and I bet you if you’re on the minds of other National League teams and you’re hoping to be that team that knocks off the Dodgers, it’s probably gonna come down to one of the first two rounds, where your better chance to beat the Dodgers is going to be in a best-of-three or a best-of-five series.
Dodgers fans are probably not loving what they’ve seen from their team the last few days, but experts know what they are capable of. If the right guys can get hot down the stretch, it’s going to be very difficult to stop this team in October.