It seems so long ago. In reality it was just a few months, April to be exact. I placed a bet on the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the 2022 World Series.
The bet wasn’t anything big, just a little action to stay invested in the baseball season. Then I proceeded to pay attention to every sport but baseball.
It was an informed bet, though. The Dodgers were just two years removed from a title and had the second-largest payroll in baseball (when has that ever mattered). I knew a lot of the names at just about every position: Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Trea Turner, Clayton Kershaw. And they even added Freddie Freeman, who helped beat them in last year’s NLCS.
Then, I got lost in the NBA playoffs, and NHL playoffs, a whole WNBA season, the NFL came back, and next thing you know my little bet was forgotten about… That is until now, 162 games later. The exciting MLB playoffs are finally upon us. And whaddya know, the Dodgers finished the year with the best record in baseball. They remain the favorites to be the last team standing with +300 odds at BetMGM. Now it’s time to finish the job.
LA has consistently been one of the best teams in the majors since 2013, winning the NL West nine out of 10 years, reaching the pennant in six years and winning it three times. This year marks the fourth time in that span the Dodgers have won more than 100 games, and they also had the best record in baseball in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Yet, all they have to show for all of that regular-season success is a single World Series championship.
Falling short this year wouldn’t just be a major letdown to my little, petty bet, it’ll be a major letdown to everyone involved. The Dodgers dominated this season and have by far the largest scoring margin in the majors (+334) to show for it. Their 111 wins are a franchise record and second-most in National League history behind the 1906 Cubs. That’s not a typo, they have the most wins in the NL since 1906!
Their pitching staff leads the majors in ERA and ranks fifth in strikeouts. Their offense leads the majors in runs batted in and ranks top five in batting average and home runs. They’re even second in FanGraphs’ defensive runs saved metric and ninth in stolen bases. This team literally doesn’t have a weakness. Which brings us back to the postseason.
The Dodgers’ NLDS opponent will be determined after the Wild Card round, which begins Friday. It might be the Mets (+700), it might be the Padres (+2800). No matter who it is, the Dodgers will be favored. And it won’t be enough for them to simply advance one round. They need to win a World Series this year, or all of those stats we just went over mean literally nothing. They only make this season — and my pockets — all the more disappointing.
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