ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle’s Simulation Sees Dodgers Break MLB Wins Record

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been lauded for their collection of talent throughout the streak of winning eight consecutive National League West titles, and their teams in 2017 and 2020 were discussed as being arguably among the best in MLB history.

The Dodgers led the Majors in wins and reached the World Series in both seasons. Of course, it wasn’t until last year that L.A. managed to end the franchise’s championship drought.

It came during a season in which the Dodgers went 43-17, which was a pace of 117 seasons had MLB managed to play a full schedule. That would’ve broken the Seattle Mariners’ MLB record of 116 wins, which was set during the 2001 season.

With the Dodgers’ juggernaut still together, ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle ran 10,000 simulations to predict the 2021 regular season. He then took those into a replay game to see if the Dodgers could set the MLB record for wins and capture another World Series:

Out of 10,000 sim seasons, the Dodgers had two — two! — records under .500, won at least 79 games every time, broke the all-time wins record (116) a number of times and even had five simulations in which they won at least 117 games then swept their way to another World Series crown with an 11-0 postseason.

In an effort to put my head around that outlandish notion, I ran an experiment. I took my projections and loaded them up into my replay game of choice, which is Action! PC Baseball. The goal was simple: I would run the 2021 season as many times as it took for the Dodgers to break the wins record and go on to win the World Series. I would run those replays all day if I had to.

On the first and third of those replays, the Dodgers won the World Series but did not break the wins record. On the second, they also didn’t break the record and lost the World Series to the Yankees. Then on replay No. 4 — boom. New wins record. World Series title.

The Dodgers finished with 118 wins in Doolittle’s experiment, punctuating it with a victory in 18 innings on the final day of the regular season. That projection is more bullish than PECOTA forecasting the Dodgers to win a much more modest 103 games.

Dodgers’ World Series odds

The Dodgers remain a World Series favorite in 2021, still being favored over the likes of the San Diego Padres and New York Yankees.

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