If they finally do it this year, will they finally go away?
It’s outlandish to assume a championship would slow the Dodgers, of course, but every other outcome of theirs since 2013 has led to another divisional title. With such high expectations in Los Angeles year after year, perhaps the calling card for a new NL West champion is a season where the Dodgers can finally breathe easy in comparison.
From 1991-2005, the Atlanta Braves set a record with 14 consecutive divisional crowns. Their lone World Series championship over that span (1995) came early in the streak, and from 1995-1999, they won the National League pennant on three occasions. It’s safe to say their World Series experience only fueled them onward, but when their divisional streak ended, it took them eight years to top the NL East again.
The 2010, 2012 and 2014 championships for the San Francisco Giants featured interesting ‘off-years’ in between. They finished eight games out of the NL West lead in 2011, and 16 games out in 2013. The Giants’ roster took some injury hits in both of those years, but at first glance, it appears a post-championship lull struck San Francisco and allowed divisional opponents to climb into contention.
Perhaps a similar down-year in Los Angeles (hopefully without the injuries) would be enough to dispel eight years of Dodger momentum. Youthful players suggest the Dodgers may be an indefinite force to be reckoned with, however.
They headline several young talents like Cody Bellinger (24), Dustin May (23), Brusdar Graterol (21) and Julio Urías (23). It leads to a bleak outlook for any other team in the NL West, which may tempt other divisional franchises (outside of San Diego) to rebuild while they can. Even if the Dodgers are finally crowned champions this year, it is presumed that all of these young players will return more comfortable and more experienced. That can be a dangerous combination.
Game 7 of the NLCS will take place this evening inside Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. The AL-champion Tampa Bay Rays await the NL-champion Dodgers or Braves, and the 2020 World Series is scheduled to open on Tuesday.
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The LA Times highlights the young Dodger pitching staff and how it can pay dividends in a Game 7 situation. Staff writer Bill Shaikin further points out how “[Clayton] Kershaw was the closer the last time the Dodgers played a Game 7.”
Noah Yingling of RoxPile details some major Rockies topics in the 2020-21 offseason. He discusses team finances, potential players to trade, and the ongoing discussion surrounding Nolan Arenado’s future in Colorado.
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