The Dodgers incredible run that started in late June grabbed the attention of the baseball world as they suddenly became World Series favorites.
With a 1-2 punch atop the rotation that features Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke coupled together with a lineup that includes Yasiel Puig, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp and many more, it’s easy to see why many believe it’s the Dodgers best chance to win a World Series in several years.
Talking to Jesse Spector of SportingNews.com, Billy Ripken of MLB Network said the Dodgers are the team to beat in the National League:
You look at the Dodgers and think about what they have on the bump, I think they have enough to do a lot of damage in the postseason. I think we’ve learned over a period of time that you can’t count the Cardinals out because they absolutely get things done when they have to. I don’t think of them in the same light as the Dodgers on the National League side of things — the Dodgers have to be the team to beat.
If the playoffs were to start tonight, the Dodgers would start on the road in Atlanta and with the best road record in the NL, it wouldn’t faze them.
In the National League, all five teams have clinched berths into the playoffs and now it’s just a matter of seeding at this point. Since the Cardinals now own the top spot and two NL Central teams have a hold of the two Wild Card spots, MLB made a rule change last year that two teams from the same division can play in the NLDS.
While many believe the Dodgers September issues might’ve knocked them off their perch, Don Mattingly hasn’t played his regulars on a consistent basis. There’s no doubt the Dodgers have become the new Yankees of the West so the added pressure to win when everyone expects them to is definitely there.
ICYMI: Here’s our report about the awful tragedy that took place after the Dodgers-Giants game.