Off the Field: Dodgers primed for 9 NL West title in a row

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The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Scherzer pitches against the Houston Astros in the first inning at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Robert Yeutter

Starting back in 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won 8 straight National League West divisional titles.

With just two weeks left in the regular season, the Dodgers trail the San Francisco Giants by one game after the Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds by a score of 8-5 and the Atlanta Braves tomahawked the Giants by a score of 3-0

Even though the Dodgers trail the Giants, they have the pieces on their team to achieve their ninth straight division title and back-to-back World Series Championships.

In 2020, the Dodgers made a trade with the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Mookie Betts and pitcher David Price. They traded away up and coming talents of outfielder Alex Verdugo, shortstop Jeter Downs, and catcher Connor Wong.

Additionally, the Dodgers made a trade with the Minnesota Twins for right-handed pitcher Brusdar Graterol, outfielder Luke Raley, and draft pick in the 2020. They traded away right-handed pitcher Kenta Maeda and catcher Jair Camargo.

These two deals set up the Dodgers for the World Series Championship they won in 2020, but it also led to a long-term extension signed by Betts, which will give the Dodgers chances to win way into the future as well as now.

The Dodgers also made a splash in free agency. They signed right-handed pitcher Blake Treinen to a two-year contract with an option for the team to pick him up for a third year.

Graph shows the Dodgers with a 50.8% chance to win the division, while the Giants have a 49.2% chance.
The probabilities of the National League West’s possible division winner. Dodgers and Giants are the only teams with that chance remaining.
Courtesy of: fangraph.com

In 2021, the Dodgers made a surprising splash in the free agent market and signed Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young award winner.

These players have made their impacts on the Dodgers all year long.

Betts was playing through injuries for most of the current season and has seemed to finally recover from them.

Since returning from injuries and since Sept. 6, Betts is hitting .354/.429/.542 and is leading some of the charge for the Dodgers.

Price sat out the 2020 season because of COVID-19 but played an important part for the Dodgers as pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Trevor Bauer all have had time away from the major league club.

Price filled in nicely for all those pitchers and kept the Dodgers in a spot to keep pace in the division.

Treinen is a main cog in the bullpen serving the role of set-up man to Kenley Jansen. This season has seen Treinen pitch well with a record of 5-5 with an ERA of 2.01 with five saves and 78 strikeouts.

Trevor Bauer, who is currently on the restricted list for sexual assault allegations, pitched like a pitcher coming off a Cy Young award winning season.

Bauer pitched like a star starter with a record of 8-5 with an ERA of 2.59 with a complete game and 137 strikeouts.

Once Bauer went down, the Dodgers went out and got right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner at the deadline. In a deal with the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers got Scherzer and Turner for catcher Keibert Ruiz, right-handed pitcher Josiah Gray, right-handed pitcher Gerardo Carrillo, and outfielder Donovan Casey.

Turner has been a jump-starter at the top of the Dodgers daily lineup. Turner has played the position the Dodgers needed from him in second base.

Turner, since coming to the Dodgers, has hit .302/.351/.810 with 4 homeruns, 13 runs batted in and 9 stolen bases. Turner currently leads the National League in batting average.

Scherzer has been everything Dodger fans thought he would be.

Scherzer, since coming to the team, has pitched in 9 games and has gone 7-0 with an ERA of 0.78 with 79 strikeouts.

Scherzer has filled the role that Bauer ended up losing when the league extended his suspension through the end of the season.

With 12 games remaining in the season, the Dodgers will look to all their major pieces to keep the winning going and to beat out the Giants for good.

Although currently trailing, these pieces the Dodgers have are giving massive amounts of hope to a ninth straight title and another World Series championship.