It has been a historic summer in Chavez Ravine for manager Dave Roberts’ Los Angeles Dodgers, who pulled off a feat last accomplished more than 100 years ago in the National League.
The league-leading Dodgers notched their 110th win of the year on Oct. 1 against the Colorado Rockies, becoming the first Senior Circuit squad to reach such a mark since the 1909 Pittsburgh Pirates.
There is no legal California sports betting but bettors who ventured to a neighboring state such as Arizona would have fared well backing this Dodgers team.
The state has a chance to get sports wagering going in the near future with two initiatives on the November ballot. Polls shows that both proposals, at the moment, are unlikely to pass.
Dodgers’ Place in History
The Dodgers became the seventh team in MLB history to eclipse the 110-win mark.
Here is the list of all-time 110-win teams and how they fared in postseason play.
*Two more games remaining.
Oddly, only three of the six teams that won at least 110 games went on to win the World Series.
Can the Dodgers be next?
Roberts and company are tasked with doing something that no Dodgers squad has done in a 162-game season since 1988 — win a championship.
The ghosts of playoffs past will look the 2022 Dodgers squad in the eyes. As of Tuesday, Mookie Betts and company would play the winner of the New York Mets-San Diego Padres wild card series in the NLDS.
Who Will the Dodgers Face in the NLDS?
If the Dodgers square off against the Mets in the best-of-five NLDS, they can expect to see a lot of their former ace, Max Scherzer.
Scherzer, who anchored the Dodgers’ rotation down the stretch in 2021, led all Mets pitchers in WAR in 2022, at 5.3, followed by Chris Bassitt (3.2), Edwin Diaz (3.1), and Taijuan Walker (2.3). The Mets also have ace starter Jacob deGrom back in the rotation.
A potential Dodgers-Mets NLDS likely would see Scherzer go toe-to-toe against Julio Urias, who led all L.A. pitchers in WAR in 2022, at 4.8, in Game 1 of the series.
After that, the Dodgers would likely turn to Tony Gonsolin, who posted a 4.6 WAR with an impressive 16-1 record in 2022, in Game 2.
From there, the Dodgers could turn to Tyler Anderson (15-5, 4.3 WAR in 2022) in Game 3, or they could give the ball to the franchise’s 21st century cornerstone, Clayton Kershaw, who has gone 11-3 with a 3.5 WAR this year.
If Los Angeles has to square off against their SoCal brethren in the NLDS, then expect to see the aforementioned pitchers tangle with the likes of Yu Darvish (16-8 with a 4.4 WAR), Joe Musgrove (10-7 with a 3.1 WAR), and Blake Snell (11-8 with a 2.0 WAR) in a potential NLDS.
It also is possible the Dodgers could run into the Phillies, who clinched a spot for the first time in a decade Monday night.
Perhaps the biggest issue for the Dodgers in a potential showdown against the Padres in the NLDS is the presence of Juan Soto, who demolished the franchise’s World Series dreams as a member of the Washington Nationals in 2019.
Soto has struggled (by his meteoric standards) in San Diego, posting a 1.9 WAR with a .240 average, 16 home runs and 71 RBI.
No matter the opponent, Roberts and company will be forced to bring their A-game in a best-of-five series.
Dodgers the Clubhouse Favorite to Win it All in 2022
There are no California betting apps but the national bookmakers are bullish on the Dodgers.
The oddsmakers at BetMGM and Caesars Sportsbook have no issues seeing Roberts and the Dodgers as the frontrunner to win it all in 2022.
Both sportsbooks have the Dodgers at +300 to win the World Series, putting them ahead of the consensus No. 2 contender, Houston, listed at +400 on BetMGM and +380 on Caesars Sportsbook, respectively.
After the Astros, both sites have the defending champion Atlanta Braves as the next-best NL team, ranking in a tie for third at +500 on BetMGM, to go with +600 on Caesars Sportsbook.
Caesars also has the Dodgers as the runaway favorite to win the NLCS, putting them at +140, with the Braves a distant No. 2 at +260.
Be sure to stay close to BetCalifornia.com for news about legalized sports betting as well as for the top California sports promo codes.
How the 2022 Dodgers Compare to Past Teams
There is no doubt the Dodgers have been snakebit in recent postseasons, aisde from their title in 2020 in a season shortened by COVID-19. Los Angeles has fallen in either the NLDS, NLCS, or World Series in each of the last eight 162-game seasons.
One major difference between this year’s Dodgers squad and those clubs, however, is the team’s pitching.
The Dodgers held opponents to 507 runs through 160 games, which ranks sixth in the franchise’s 139-year history.
Los Angeles last held opponents to such a number over a full season in 1994, when they surrendered 509 runs, and last had a sub-500 run campaign in 1968.
Much of that run-saving success can be attributed to the Dodgers’ staff, which has an MLB-leading 2.79 ERA this year, ranking ahead of No. 2 Houston (2.92).
The Dodgers will be squarely in the crosshairs of the Mets, Padres, and any other team that they come across come in the postseason.
There’s also reason to believe that this year’s squad might have the right mixture of talent and guile to bring the City of Angels its first full-season World Series in 34 years.
For now, it’s time to sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds of October baseball, to see which team has the bad fortune of squaring off against the Dodgers in the NLDS.