SI asked its MLB staff to answer which team would win the most games in 2020. Each writer came back with the same answer, and thus we are here to crown the Dodgers as the best team heading into this strange and uncomfortable season. In the spirit of the SI Jinx, congrats to the Padres on their 2020 NL West title.
Here’s more on the Dodgers:
The highest win total seems almost too easy to guess: the Los Angeles Dodgers. They play a light schedule (fifth-easiest in all of MLB). Their outfield is absolutely loaded (Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson, A.J. Pollock, etc.). The addition of the DH in the NL gives them another bat in the lineup. The rotation is stacked, especially with Clayton Kershaw benefiting from the down time. Their depth on offense and on the mound figures to give them an edge in games that will feature more pitching changes and maneuvers to gain the upper hand in matchups. They only need to resist the temptation to get too cute with “resting” guys and abbreviated pitching outings.
A 60-game sprint will be helped by a versatile roster that has lots of flexibility, and L.A. can meet that standard, and then some. There’s tons of depth here—more than sufficient to paper over any injuries that may pop up—and the plug-and-play nature of the team should offer plenty of options for navigating the chaos of a short season. And, of course, they’re just plain good. That doesn’t hurt, either.
Forget the chaos of an unprecedented 60-game season. The cream will still rise to the top. We have the rare opportunity to watch two of the game’s greats share an outfield with Cody Bellinger and Mookie Betts. Even without Hyun-jin Ryu or David Price, a rotation headlined by Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler will be plenty good enough to stifle opposing lineups. L.A. also has the second-easiest strength of schedule in the National League. I think the Dodgers are going to be OK. Now, about that World Series drought…
More than any other team, the Dodgers will have the least amount of adjusting to do in a 60-game season. They have a deep lineup that manager Dave Roberts already molds and maneuvers to take advantage of platoon splits and favorable matchups, with no shortage of hitters to be productive designated hitters—a problem some NL clubs could face because of the universal DH. Their rotation features a dyo—Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler—who can go deep into games, which could be essential in keeping relievers rested and healthy during a 60-game sprint.
The Dodgers enter 2020 after winning 106 games last season, and this year’s squad could be even better. Their lineup remains absolutely stacked with a pair of legitimate MVP candidates, and a healthy Corey Seager could give Los Angeles one of baseball’s most feared middle-infield duos alongside Gavin Lux. With a deep collection of quality arms and an emerging ace in Walker Buehler, there are few evident weaknesses for Dave Roberts’s squad. The Dodgers remain the favorites to win the National League. Don’t be surprised if they finally break through and win the World Series in 2020.
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