Dodgers on the right course for a World Series

Five just might be Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers lucky number. In his fifth season as the Dodgers manager, Roberts has led his ballclub to five National League West Division titles. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Robers and the Dodgers as well as the rest of Major League Baseball teams were not too sure if there would be a season at all.

Taking the fans out of the game, the Dodgers and MLB have made it happen with a shortened season of 60 games. And like the other four seasons under his watch, the Dodgers have muscled their way to being the best team in baseball in 2020. The Dodgers’ dominance is not by happenstance the last five years.

In 2019, the Dodgers posted a 106-56 regular-season record as they advanced to the National League Division Series. A year prior to that, Roberts guided the Dodgers to a 92-71 record, marked with an appearance in the World Series, the team’s second in two consecutive years. In 2017, the Dodgers posted a 104-58 regular-season mark, highlighted by their World Series matchup against the Houston Astros. The Dodgers went 91-71 under Roberts in 2016.

That’s a pretty impressive resume. All Roberts needs to do is get his team over the hump and win a World Series. This may be the year the Dodgers achieve that dream.  The Dodgers have been so close but to grabbing the coveted crown of World Series victors, but have remained at arm’s length of achieving that goal.

Chris Taylor rounds the bases against the Oakland Athletics in a game played at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman

With Mookie Betts in their hip pocket for this year’s postseason run, the Dodgers just might have all the tools they need to finally achieve their ultimate goal.  The Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series this year in a very shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season.

Four the last four years, the Dodgers had been expected to win it all, only to fall painstakingly close in 2017 and 2018 where they came up short against the Astros and the Boston Red Sox.

In 2019, the Dodgers played down to expectations, losing the National League Division Series to the Washington Nationals, who went on to win the World Series last year. Now, after coming up short in fulfilling that quest the last several years, let’s take a look at what and how the Dodgers can avoid being eliminated in the postseason.

The first stop is the all-world hitting crew that Roberts has at his disposal.

Besides the mercurial Betts, Roberts has Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger who can do damage to opposing pitchers. Betts and Bellinger, the National League’s MVP in 2019, are for sure key to the Dodgers’ postseason success. The most critical elements of advancing come down to simple fundamentals: hitting and pitching. The Dodgers are good at doing both.

Down to the last few games of the regular season, the Dodgers have the best pitching squad in baseball (3.08 overall) and the second-best hitting team. That type of dominance is more important in the postseason. Hopefully, Roberts will have the Dodgers in a position to do so.

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