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Dodgers Still The Team to Beat in NL According to Industry Experts

Dodgers are still at the top, but other teams are closing in.



The Dodgers were just a game away from being knocked out of the 2020 postseason. Despite that, their incredible depth picked them up and helped them to make a run at their first World Series title since 1988.

That depth is what truly separates the Dodgers from the rest of the league, and has defined them for the past couple of years. But with teams around the league doing all they can to bolster their lineups and rotations, have some of them finally caught up to the Dodgers? 

The general consensus from MLB experts over at ESPN is that the Dodgers are still the team to beat in baseball heading into 2021. Despite them not making any jaw-dropping trades or signings, Los Angeles still sits at the top. But as Brad Doolittle puts it, other teams have closed the gap. 

The Dodgers remain the team to beat but teams like the Mets and Padres have closed the gap. L.A. has yet to re-sign or replace key free agents such as Justin Turner and Enrique Hernandez, while the Mets and Padres have had comparatively aggressive offseasons.

It’s also worth noting that while most of the writers felt the Dodgers were the team to beat, they also did not think they were bulletproof. In fact, almost every one of the writers felt that Los Angeles could get beat in a playoff series, with Jesse Rogers betting on the Padres. 

Related: Dodgers Writer Predicts JT Signs This Week

Keep in mind, all of this is said before the Dodgers have really added anyone in the offseason. They signed Blake Treinen to a new deal and added a few depth arms, but haven’t landed their big fish as of yet. Los Angeles could still add a BIG right-handed bat, or Trevor Bauer, or both. 

If they’re saying this about the Dodgers now, just wait until they spend some money. 

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Dodgers Reporter Believes LA is Very Serious About Their Interest in Trevor Bauer

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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    • How many NL 2B are better than Chris Taylor? Albies, McNeil, and maybe Moustakas? Lux will get a shot at RHP but for how long if he doesn’t show anything?

      • Bum4ever, I concur with CT3 at 2B. But since Kike is gone now to Red Sox, Dodgers might want Taylor to be that super utility guy instead of tying him to just 2B. As far as Lux goes. Dodgers should see what he can do against all comers if the intent is for him to have regular playing time instead of strict platooning. He won’t get that chance if team feels he won’t hit LHP from the outset, thereby never giving him any reps against LHP to begin with. But getting Turner signed is a priority here.

  1. Although there has been a lot of talk about him and also that the Dodgers have not added to the team from last year, most writers seem to ignore the fact that the Dodgers have added potentially a good pitcher in David P (basis he did not play last year). Plus, our young pitchers should be better basis a year of experience.

    Also, I do not see holes at second and third…we still have Lux and Taylor and Rios – so, we are no worse off at second and Rios for Turner is an unknown but might not be a subtraction (and we could still sign Turner).

    • You’re off your rocker if you think Lux is the answer. He’s starting the year in AAA, and he has a .206/5/13 slash line with a .589 OPS in 48 MLB games. Chris Taylor is not a viable everyday option. He’s inconsistent-and through the first 81 games he averages .232/7/24. He picks it up in the second half to a tune of-.281/8/33, but he’s not an everyday player. Rios is not going to replace Turner at 3rd. He’s a .250 hitter with 30 homer power, but he strikes out a lot and plays below average defense. Plus, he’s a left handed bat. We need a right handed bat with power. The dodgers will be better, but they need to add a right-handed bat with power-Marcell Ozuna is my pick, resign Turner, and sign a starting pitcher-Trevor Bauer. The Infield should have Bellinger at 1st, Muncy at 2nd, Seager at SS, and Turner at 3B. The Outfield should have Betts in RF, Ozuna in CF, and Pollock in LF. Smith would catch, and a combo of Edwin Rios and Chris Taylor would DH. The rotation would have Kershaw as the #1(he’s still the best pitcher in the regular season-Buehler takes over in the postseason) Bauer as the #2, Buehler as the #3, Price as the #4, and Urias as the #5.

  2. The Padres and Mets are the teams to beat. The Dodgers sat back and allowed them to improve to great levels.

    Signing Bauer will help-every few days. However, Realmuto will help each day.

  3. The Padres are now in on josh hader. The dodgers need to do more than just something, they need to do a few things starting by either resigning Turner or finding an adequate replacement. Rios is fine but over 162 I don’t see it, as another comment said he’s got power but will not get on base enough, has average at best defense and is yet another lefty. We also need to stock the bullpen so the arms are all well protected for October. Not doing so will especially be a problem if they continue using May Gonsolin and Urias for only 4-5 innings a start.

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