The 2020 season was unlike any other in history due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the Los Angeles Dodgers did not miss a beat, cruising to an MLB-best 43 wins and the top seed in the National League portion of the playoffs.
Looking to end the franchise’s World Series drought, the club made quick work of the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres in the first two rounds of the postseason before running into some adversity in the NL Championship Series.
Facing a 3-1 series deficit against the Atlanta Braves, the Dodgers strung together three consecutive victories to set the stage for a Fall Classic meeting with the Tampa Bay Rays.
In what was a battle between the two best teams in all of baseball record-wise, L.A. won in six games to capture their first World Series title since 1988. While the organization soaked in their accomplishment, the expectations remain high for 2021.
Dodgers president of baseball operations expressed confidence his group of players would avoid a sluggish start to the season, via AM 570 L.A. Sports:
“There’s a lot to World Series hangovers in subsequent years, and the question is why? It probably differs group to group, but I think we have a group that is wired the right way and aren’t going to be thinking back on 2020 when we get to Opening Day. Right now I want them to continue to enjoy it, relish in it and kind of live it up. But I think once the bell rings for next year, our focus and intent will be on that year. It’s important to us who we bring into this ecosystem and how it all fits together.”
While it is common for teams to experience World Series hangovers, the Dodgers were well equipped to avoid one and have done so thus far.
Coming off their first World Series appearance in 29 years, the club struggled out of the gate to begin the 2018 season, but that was mostly due to a plethora of injuries plaguing the roster at the time.
The Dodgers got off to a much better start the following year and finished the regular season with an MLB-best 106-56 record. However, the club suffered an early postseason exit at the hands of the Washington Nationals, who went on to win the World Series.
For this season, the Dodgers hold the best record in baseball despite dealing with several injuries, including to Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux, among others.
Bellinger, Betts in good standing
Although Bellinger remains on the 10-day injured list, he is making steady progress with the recovery from a hairline fracture in his left fibula.
Meanwhile, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts anticipates Betts being in the lineup Thursday after he missed a game due to soreness from being hit by a pitch on the inside of his right forearm.
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