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Dodgers: What Happens The Year After 106 Wins

Can the Dodgers become the first team to win the World Series after a 100 win regular season?



Despite the end result, the 2019 Los Angeles Dodgers 106 regular season wins was an impressive achievement. In any era, passing the century mark has long been a benchmark for great teams, but if the Dodgers are going to finally win the World Series, history will not be on their side.

Since the implementation of the two team wild-card format before the 2012 season, no team has ever won the World Series the year after a 100 or more win season.

The Season After 100 Wins

  • 2015 St. Louis Cardinals (100-62) Failed to reach playoffs in 2016
  • 2016 Chicago Cubs (103-58)* Lost to the Dodgers in 2017 NLCS
  • 2017 Cleveland Indians (102-60) Lost to the Astros in 2018 ALDS
  • 2017 Houston Astros (101-61)* Lost to the Boston Red Sox in 2018 ALCS
  • 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) We all know what happened
  • 2018 Boston Red Sox (108-54)* Failed to reach playoffs in 2019
  • 2018 New York Yankees (100-62) Lost to the Astros in 2019 ALCS
  • 2018 Houston Astros (103-59) Lost to the Nationals in 2019 WS

*Won the World Series the year of their 100 win season

Of the eight teams that have recorded 100 or more wins during the current playoff format, two failed to make the playoffs, one lost in the division series, three lost in the league championship, and two lost in the World Series (you probably remember one of them) the year after hitting triple digits in the win column.

A Quick Historical Review

The Cardinals rotation struggled mightily after overachieving in 2015 while the Cubs suffered an understandable World Series hangover over a century in the making. The Cleveland Indians mustered only six runs in the process of getting swept out of the 2018 ALDS to the eventual champion Astros. Houston collapsed against a 108 win juggernaut Red Sox team that was destined to win it all. Forty five weeks later, the Red Sox fired General Manager Dave Dombrowski after finishing 19 games out of first and missing the playoffs. The Yankees and Astros both join the Dodgers on this list as the three teams that came damn near close.

Optimists will point to the small sample size and dispute any correlation, but the regular season is a strenuous trail culminating in an ascent up a grueling mountain peak. The list above includes talented organizations, shoe-in Hall of Fame players, and some of the best managers of the decade – all of whom couldn’t get over the hump the next year.

Dodgers 2020

So why is it so difficult to come back and win the World Series after a previously great season? Is it the wear and tear on a pitching staff from many a hard thrown October pitch? Is it a sense of complacency that off-season by the returning players? Perhaps it’s going through the motions thinking they’ll yield the same level of success the year after?

Whatever it may be, the Dodgers prologue seems to read differently this off-season. There’s plenty of life in the young arms of Julio Urias, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, to reinforce the starting rotation or buttress the bullpen when injury or underperformance arise.

For the first time in a long time, Corey Seager will enter the year at full health with top prospect Gavin Lux spelling him when needed. Alex Verdugo’s back should be 100% and he should begin his training regimen shortly. His bat and contact hitting were sorely missed. All the while Justin Turner — the heart, soul, and leader of the Dodgers — returns for what could be his final year at Chavez Ravine.

Although they’ve made big acquisitions, this Dodgers team has never been defined by mid-July push notifications. They have been defined by an organizational depth and longevity of success that none of the other 100 win franchise have displayed this decade.

There always needs to be a first, why not the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Dodgers: Justin Turner Talks About Abrupt End to 2019 Postseason

Written by Eric Eulau

Born and raised in Ventura, not "Ven-CH-ura", California. Number one fear in life is dying without ever seeing a Dodgers Championship. Host of The Series Sweep Podcast - link on my Twitter (@EEulau).

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  1. Nice try Eric putting lipstick on a swine. My explanation is that when a team wins over 100 games, their ownership thinks that they don’t need to make more than a few tiny improvements in order to win it all. Therefore, ignoring other teams major improvements, they more or less stand pat. An ownership group like ours is more concerned with staying under the salary cap and ROI (return on investment) than winning the World Series, especially when attendance is stable and does not significantly drop. Boycotting is the only tool available for loyal fans which, in my opinion, will not happen.

  2. It’s not happening in 2020. 2021 was always the year and it will follow the Braves pattern of losing back to back World Series and winning 3 years later

  3. Maybe the article should be titled, “What happens after 106 win season and losing in the first round of playoffs?”

  4. LOL the MINORITY of fair weather fans and sportswriters have written the Dodgers obituary! They are DONE…It is OVER…
    Never mind reality!
    The Dodgers had 9 rookies make a debut and contribute last year. They have a top rated Farm system with guys like Grey and Downs loaded up to compete. The team continues to get better and younger.
    The reason most teams fall off is because they mortgaged their future to make a run at the playoffs. The Dodgers have not done that and to the sonsternation of some fans and sportswriter hacks. The Dodgers continue to plan to construct a team to compete for the next decade….
    I do think they will make some trades if offered a fair return. The Dodgers should trade a few of their veterans and blocked Farm talent to improve a position or two. But will do so in a controlled manner instead of giving Cole a 9 year deal or offering Ryu 4 years as they obviously do not think his body will withstand the contract length. Who knows Ryu’s condition better than the Dodgers? He was in rehab all together about two years….
    Its over! They are doomed to Last Place!! The Padres will take it all!!
    The Dodgers of 2020 by the end of the year will be more talented and younger than the team of 2019.
    I will be in my Spring Season seat at Camelback enjoying the Dodgers of 2020 play and laughing.

      • Richard, and when all is said and done, Dodgers still have Roberts playing the games of shuffleboard and Musical chairs with daily lineups, and positions because as a writer on another blog points out, with the exception of a few players, the Dodgers are a team of utility players and no real superstars. Watch once again what takes place with the lineups every time the team faces a LHP. What angers me alot is that Roberts told Plasche of the LA Times that he would make the same exact decisions again as he did in game 5 of the NLDS.

  5. A good farm system and 9 rookies will get you? Uh nothing probably. Weve had 7 years of pretty good farm system and 9 rookies and it has got us? Uh nothing! There doesn’t appear to be any major leaguers left on the farm, and we are going to count on may, urias, and gonsolin as our back end rotation? All unproven and gonsolin in particular is a career minor leaguers and not a prospect. Serious problems with our catchers, starting rotation and especially our relief core and you are talking about a few prospects?

    • AH, don’t forget that Freidman re-signs Rocky Gale, albeit a minor league deal for depth LOL And if something happens to either Smith or Barnes, Gale will be up here…. He (Gale) makes Barnes offensively look like Johnny Bench or Mike Piazza.

      • Happy New Year AZUL and PD Jr.!!!!!
        Its easy to speculate about the 2020 season IMHO : the western division of the NL is weak; we will most likely win it; season will end on another low note. The FO has not improved this team in any way thus far. A right-handed bat, a starting and BP pitcher would be fruitful additions.
        Unfortunately, we are the same team in 2020 that we were in 2019. And, Paul, Roberts and AF will confound us with their mathematical permutations as to what the starting lineup should be. Go Blue!!!!!!!!!!

        • BLUE LOU! happy New year to you as well
          Right on all counts here and are basically my points as well. And it may very well be what Freidman and Roberts do in regards to how team and lineups are managed, as well as how the pitching often times is mis managed being the big reason why players from elsewhere do not want to play here. Someone else brought that point up that I read this AM.

          • AZUL, I am very disheartened about the way the team is currently going about its business. I am even considering not purchasing the MLB Extra Innings package this spring. Dodger management seems to be stuck in neutral, and as you correctly state, there are players who are eschewing the Dodgers to play somewhere else where they know they can play regularly. Its very difficult to accept the fact that the Dodgers are being considered “also-rans” by other teams. Go Blue!!!! Go PD Jr.!!!!

    • Gonsolin was drafted in 2016 after spending 4 years in college. He is not a career minor leaguer, as he advanced thru the minors to the majors in about three years. He has great potential.

  6. they did win 106 games but ,they lost ryu, jansen is older and wearing out, kershaw is older and wearing down.
    freese a club house guy is gone ! .
    rotation of buehler ace, kershaw wearing down , urias head case ,Goslin ?? potential and may unproven with maybe a stripling thats scary!… needed to get another #2 type starter and a closer

    • That’ll be enough for the season and that’s all that matters from a business standpoint and for some so called fans who apparently prefer regular season success over playoff success

  7. Oh Boy!!!
    Another NL West title!!! Hey everybody, we’re better than the Rox and the Gnats, Thanks Friedman, Kasten, and the nonchalant Guggenheim group.

    • lol I always get a good laugh out of some fans here who act like besting the weak west teams is great and occasionally besting the NL but standing no chance in the WS is something to brag about and be proud of because we annually produce a playoff team and farm talent. It’s cute that they think anyone is envious of that

      • NODH…don’t be so sure of yourself. The issue of weak teams isn’t about fans bragging or being proud of beating weak teams. I have pushed back on this with you. This issue is an MLB wide concern. There are too many weak teams year after year in every division. Too few teams consistently compete. Too few teams have quality talent in the pipeline. Too few teams pay what it takes to keep their homegrown guys when they become a FA. Often trading them before they hit the market. You know this. So, Isn’t it possible that the dodgers ownership is saying “we will not subsidized teams who cry poor and sell off their minimal talent for prospects rather than invest in player development..”. Player development is not cheap. Cuts into profits. We can look at this from many different angles. But the bottom line is, every team in every division year after year has the opportunity to feast on the weak. Still, it is no guarantee that the best will take advantage. In 2013 the Dodgers went 37-39 in the NL west. The NL west was not good overall. We won the division with 92 wins, beat a 96 win ATL team in the NLDS and went to the NLCS against a 97 win STL team losing in 6 games. No MLB team in 2013 won more than 97 games. Year after year it changes. One or more divisions really sucks in each League a lot more than other divisions suck. But the one constant is that there will be 2-3 terrible teams to rack up wins against. That is MLB’s level playing field. In 2019 the Astros won 56 games in their own division. 18-1 against the Mariners. They were 14-14 against AL playoff teams. Yet the sports media goes gaga over their “brilliance”. In 2019 the Dodgers went 51-25 in the NL west and 15-12 against playoff teams. When we look at the big picture, the “weak division” advantage is minimal. 3-4-5 games between teams. But the sports analysis is lazy and selective. Winning 7 years in a row is no small thing because consistently we have found a way to get there when other teams have not under very similar circumstances. The Giants never had more than 94 regular season wins in their WS run. Regular season wins are not the determining factor in the playoffs anymore than division strength. Some digging on your part will confirm this. When you say “lol I always get a good laugh…”, I think, “NODH has not done their homework”. Don’t be arrogant. Check your facts. Use an example. A recent post claimed that dodger hitters mostly hit hr’s against weak teams in their division. This is not true. It is just another unexamined claim intended to prove that the dodgers only win because they play in a weak division. A condition that is true for all playoff teams. Bellinger in 2019 hit 47 hr’s. Good for 4th best in the MLB. Cody hit 22 hr’s in 257 ab’s against NL west teams. He hit 25 hr’s in 301 ab’s against all other teams. Not an extreme split. Mike Trout hit 26 hr’s in 217 ab’s against AL west teams. 11 hr’s against the Rangers. He hit 45 hr’s total. 11 of them against 1 bad team in his division. So does Trout suck? Pete Alonso hit 53 hr’s in 597 ab’s. He hit 25 hr’s in 284 ab’s in his division. 28 hr’s in 313 ab’s against everyone else. Again, not extreme splits. The beauty of baseball is the uncertainty, improbability, superstition, tradition, myth…and the stats. There is no need to guess. There are no absolutes. So you got to dig. Baseball is entertainment. I don’t seek entertainment that will drive me crazy til I start shit talking strangers on a website. Continuing to believe that millionaires and billionaires will share their wealth and do what you 10 repeat posters on this site think they should do is just plain foolish. Calling dissenters “shills” is immature. There is plenty of room for everyone. It’s a Dodger Nation right? I know ownership is greedy. I just happen to really like player development. I prefer this use of greed. I don’t prefer a short term fix most of the time. Or contracts to aging Vets…I am under no illusions that Millionaires and Billionaires give 2 bits about us. Wasting time debating their greed is a dead end. They are greedy. The end. Move on. Stop going to games if you want. Shut down your Amazon account while you’re logged in. Quit buying Levis and Classic Coke. Tell your Boss to stick it! Fine with me. But if you want to talk baseball, it’s way more fun to remember, win or lose, it’s not the end of the world.

  8. I agree the Dodgers will not win with what they have now. They need a proven starter and a right handed power bat. They can’t stay with what they had last year. Dave Roberts has no clue how to handle pitching changies. The team needs to be sold to someone who cares about the fans and wants to win a championship. Until they are owned by someone who cares nothing will change.

  9. This article was great for looking at recent historical comps to answer the question: what happens next year? Given the pennants in the last several years I’m not convinced that a huge drop off is coming.

    In that case, I think another way to answer this question is to think about what other NL teams would prevent the Dodgers from reaching the World Series again. Then, what AL teams would be able to beat the Dodgers in a 7 game series.

    Thoughts?

    • Per Odds Shark, The Dodgers are fairly large favorites over the Braves and Nats for the NL pennant. The Yankees are big favorites for the world series with the Dodgers and Astros about even behind them.

  10. In the absence of trading for a frontline starting pitcher to go along with Buehler, Kershaw, and Maeda, I project the Dodgers to win 88 to 93 games, win the NL West, and get eliminated in the division series, or NLCS. It will be a training year for rookie pitchers May and Gonsolin, a reintroduction of Urias, and a brief tour for Gray. None of them will be able to do much or even pitch at all in the postseason due to innings restrictions. May as well take a long nap until the 2021 season, if you’re just in it for a shot at a championship. By then the rookie pitchers could blossom into real starters.

    • Las Vegas has the Dodger’s line at 98.5 wins. They’re prohibitive favorites to win the NL pennant at 2 to 1 over Atlanta and almost 3 to 1 over the Nats. They are, however, almost 2 to 1 underdogs to the Yankees in the world series.

      • I guess I disagree with the experts. In the postseason, the starting rotation shrinks. The 4 and 5 starters typically go to the bullpen. The 1,2, and 3 starters do most of the work. Two of those three need to be dominant (like Sherzer and Strasburg last season). And the 3 guy needs to be strong, but maybe not dominant. The Dodgers currently have a 1 guy in Buehler. He excels in the post season. Honestly Kershaw seems like a 3 guy at this point in his career. He can get it done. But he is not dominant (particularly in the postseason). The Dodgers have no real postseason 2 guy with Ryu and Hill gone. One dominant pitcher may get you to the NLCS, but it won’t get you out of it to the World Series. Maybe Vegas is looking at last year’s 106 wins a little too much. Maybe they think the offense will be strong enough to compensate. But I don’t think so. But the Dodgers could have a potent starting rotation in 2021 if May, Urias, and Gonsolin, get through 2020 injury free and build up their pitch count capability. 2020 would in effect become a short rebuilding year to season rookie pitchers.

        • I agree with most of your post except I think Urias is ready and will slide by Kershaw as the #2 before the season’s finished. He was the best starter coming out of the spring last year and has serious stuff. May will also get a good look as the #5 in the first half to see if they need to do anything at the deadline. 98.5 is tough but I’ll probably put something on the over.

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