Vin Scully: 2020 Dodgers ‘Best Balanced Team’

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of their best stretch in franchise history as winners of the National League West eight consecutive years in a row. In 2018, Dave Roberts became the first manager in MLB history to win the division in each of his first four years, and he extended that this season.

As a team, the Dodgers had never won more than three consecutive NL West titles since their current streak began in 2013. In 2016 they became the first team to win the NL West four years in a row since the Divisional Era began in 1969.

Overall, the Dodgers’ stretch of eight consecutive NL West championships trails only the Atlanta Braves (14) and New York Yankees (nine) for most consecutive division titles since 1969. Of course, a World Series championship continues to evade the team.

With L.A. in the NL Championship Series for a fourth time in the past five years, retired broadcaster Vin Scully was asked on “Mason and Ireland” if this season’s group was the best Dodgers team of all-time. Scully stopped short of stating as much but still offered praise, via ESPN L.A. Radio:

“It’s awfully hard to do that. As you know, the ballparks have changed. When I started, the Dodgers played in tiny Ebbets Field, so there might be those who say, ‘Well, a team that had Hodges, Robinson, Reese, Cox, Snyder, Furillo, an awfully good team.’ A veteran team that didn’t make many mistakes, but they played basically in a smaller ballpark. So I’m not quite sure. It’s pretty hard to judge. They were my first group, so I’m kind of stuck on them. But I agree with everybody, I would say this, the Dodgers team this year is without a doubt the best balanced team.”

At 43-17, the Dodgers again finished with the best record in baseball. Their .717 winning percentage translates to a 116-win pace, which would have shattered the 104-58 record the 2017 team finished with to set a new franchise record.

Much of the success in the 2020 regular season was attributed to the arrival and impact of Mookie Betts, Corey Seager playing to an MVP level during multiple stretches, and the Dodgers arguably having their best collection of relief pitchers since the NL West reign began.

Faith in bullpen

Although Kenley Jansen has endured recent struggles, the Dodgers bullpen as a whole was a bright spot this season and so far into the playoffs.

Chris Taylor, who has been with the team since 2016, called this year’s unit the best the Dodgers have had. Betts also praised the group and Joe Kelly said this week the Dodgers have no shortage of quality arms.

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