MLB

Are the Los Angeles Dodgers the Next Great Thing in Baseball?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been one of the best MLB teams in recent years. They’ve won seven straight division titles in the National League West, and they made two straight World Series appearances in 2017 and 2018.

Plus, the team only improved this offseason when they traded for young star Mookie Betts. They didn’t have to give up any key talent in the majors to get the outfielder from the Red Sox. The Dodgers were already good, but with the addition of Betts, are they the next great thing in baseball?

The Los Angeles Dodgers could be good through the 2020s

The Dodgers’ recent success as the best in the National League could continue for the foreseeable future. Their offensive core is still in their 20s; Reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger is 24, Corey Seager, 25, and Max Muncy, 28. Betts is still in his prime at 27 years old. If the Dodgers keep this offensive core together long-term, the lineup will be formidable for years to come.

Then you have three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw providing a veteran presence at the top of the starting rotation. He gives guidance to 24-year-old Walker Buehler, who has great potential. The Dodgers also acquired veteran David Price from Boston in the Betts trade.

Top prospect Gavin Lux, a 22-year-old second baseman, is expected to become a regular part of the big-league roster this season. If he lives up to expectations, he should also be a key piece of the team for the next several years.

The Dodgers’ strong odds to win the World Series

The Dodgers hope adding Betts will get them to their third World Series in the last four years. If they do get to the Fall Classic again, they will hope to win it this time — it’d be their first title since 1988. At least one major sportsbook thinks adding Betts and Price significantly increases the team’s chances to get a World Series championship.

Prior to the trade, the leading sportsbooks had odds of +600 on the team to win this year’s World Series. In the wake of the Betts deal, BetOnline increased the Dodgers’ 2020 World Series odds to +400, putting them slightly behind the Yankees, who were at +350 as of February 5, 2020.

Best in the National League?

The Dodgers have made it to at least the National League Championship Series in four of the last seven seasons, cementing them as arguably the best team in the NL in that span. Will this run continue? It seems like a strong likelihood.

The Dodgers are the only National League team to win 100 games in any of the last three seasons — and they’ve done it twice, including a 106-win season last year. Adding Betts and Price only increases the Dodgers’ lead over the rest of the league. This is especially true since the two biggest free agents who changed teams this offseason — Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon — both landed with AL teams.

In the case of Rendon, he left a strong NL contender — and the reigning champs — in the Nationals, signing with the Dodgers’ nearest geographic rivals the Angels. Looking back at World Series odds, the Dodgers have the second-best odds, and they’re sandwiched between two AL teams.

The Braves are the next National League team at fourth place, and several NL teams are tied in fifth place. But they have significantly longer odds than the Dodgers at +1400 and +1600, respectively.

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