Dodgers favored to win third NL pennant in four years
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the preseason favorite to represent the National League in the 2020 World Series. It would be their 24th pennant in franchise history—which would break a tie with the San Francisco Giants for most NL pennants all-time—and their third in four years.
Odds to win the National League Championship Series
Los Angeles Dodgers
St. Louis Cardinals
Dodgers lineup will be formidable
L.A.'s lineup is one of the deepest and strongest in the majors, and it's led by 2019 NL MVP Cody Bellinger (1.035 OPS). Their outfield got a whole lot better with the acquisition of Mookie Betts from the Red Sox on Tuesday night. The also received starting pitcher David Price in the deal.
The cost to the Dodgers was not backbreaking. They shipped Alex Verdugo to Boston and sent Kenta Maeda to the Twins. L.A.'s pennant odds dropped overnight, from +220 to +170.
A.J. Pollock (.804 career OPS) and Chris Taylor (.794 OPS in 2019) complete the outfield. On the infield, Justin Turner is a team leader at third base, with veteran Corey Seager, prospect Gavin Lux, and the power-hitting Max Muncy to his left. Kiké Hernandez is a reliable backup on the bench. Will Smith (.253 average, 15 home runs and 42 RBIs last season) provides pop behind the plate, too.
L.A.'s rotation still solid at the top
Hyun-Jin Ryu departure to Toronto hurts the Dodgers rotation, but Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler are still one of the best starting-pitching tandems in the game. The Dodgers bullpen, fourth by ERA a year ago, will bring back most of its key players for 2020, including closer Kenley Jansen (33 saves).
L.A. has a litany of players on the roster with playoff pedigrees, and they are justifiably upset about not cashing in when they made the World Series in 2017 and 2018, when they lost to the Astros and Red Sox, two teams recently caught up in the sign-stealing scandal.
"We're angry," pitcher Ross Stripling told DodgerBlue.com. "Obviously you don't get a punishment like that if things weren't found out, so it's pretty clear that cheating happened.
"I think if you were gonna ask us, we would say we're happy people got punished for doing what they did, but also we were over it two years ago, and now it's time to move on to 2020."