The Los Angeles Dodgers have exploded during the first half of the 2017 Major League Baseball regular season. They currently sit atop the National League West standings with a record of 41-25, a half-game ahead of the Colorado Rockies.
To begin the season, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas sportsbooks had the Dodgers open up as +6600 odds to win the 2017 World Series. That’s amazing value for how the season has shaped up thus far, but the big question is can they continue at the pace they’re at, and once they do make the playoffs, do they have the starting pitching and veteran star power to finish the deal and bring home a championship?
Right now the Dodgers lineup is getting the job done by committee and great opportune hitting with men in scoring position. They only have one player with over 150 at-bats that’s hitting over .300.
So while they may be lacking the big-named, big-stat contributor on the offensive side of the ball, they’ve more than made up for it with solid production spread out up and down the lineup.
The Dodgers’ most productive hitter thus far in the first half of the 2017 regular season has been shortstop Corey Seager. Among players with over 200 at-bats, Seager is leading the team in batting average with .284, on base percentage of .388, and total hits with 67.
The most trusted sports betting adviser Jon Price has been touting Seager all year and is up 14 units on Dodgers betting alone so far this season.
Backing him up in the other offensive statistical categories is rookie Cody Bellinger, who is leading the team in home runs with 22, and 49 RBIs. Seager isn’t very far behind in either of those categories either as he’s currently third on the team with 12 home runs and third with 38 RBIs, just behind Dodgers star outfielder Yasiel Puig’s 40 RBIs.
Their lineup has done a solid job of capitalizing with runners in scoring position and making the best of their opportunities at the plate, but they’re going to need to make some moves if they want to get really serious about making a run at the World Series this year.
Small ball can, and has won championships in Major League Baseball, but it’s always done backed up by stellar starting pitching. On their staff, the Dodgers have arguably the best starting pitcher in all of baseball in Clayton Kershaw.
He leads the team’s pitchers in wins with 10 and 115 strikeouts, and is second among starters with a 2.61 ERA. Kershaw is exactly the kind of ace the pitching staff needs if it wants to get back into the postseason and make any significant run at the crown.
Behind him, things get a little less clear, but the Dodgers still have some solid arms in the rotation.
Alex Wood has come up big this season with seven wins already, sporting an impressive 1.90 ERA. In addition, the Dodgers also have Brandon McCarthy who’s held up his end of the deal this season, too, with a 2.87 earned-run average in his six wins.
While these are solid regular season stats, in the playoffs, and especially the World Series, it takes star status starting pitching to compete. In October is when pitching dominates, and it’s hard to be confident that the Dodgers’ starting pitching staff is currently deep enough to give a bettor much hope of cashing in on that +6600 payout for winning the World Series.
There’s still plenty of time until the trade deadline, and we’re not even to the All Star break in this 2017 MLB regular season, but while the Dodgers seem like they’re flying high now and seem like great odds to win it all later this year, I wouldn’t start counting your winnings just yet.
They’re going to need to make at least one, maybe two big moves to acquire the kind of star power and pitching that you need to go deep into October baseball and win the World Series. They’re still in great position during the early going of the season, and should have plenty of ammunition to possibly make a deal or two and make a run come playoff time.