With a lineup as deep as any this game has ever seen, a top-three that can rival anyone’s rotation, and conservatively seven different solid starters and top prospects in the mix to eat innings, it may be a dull pick to select the Dodgers as your preseason World Series champions, but it’s an obvious one.
That’s why you’re about to see so many experts pivot in the other direction and feed us the opposite. After all, who wants to join the chorus of Dodgers pickers when you can stand out with your selection? That’s why you’re going to hear all about the unproven bullpen, Cody Bellinger’s struggles and Andrew Heaney.
Poking holes is a lot easier than saying, “The Dodgers are the Dodgers. They’ll win 100 games. A lot will have to go right for any opponent that knocks ’em out at any stage.”
ESPN’s Jeff Passan snuck a prediction into the bottom of his Opening Day preview column this week, almost as an afterthought/nugget at the end in hopes LA fans wouldn’t notice his little pivot. On the record, consider Passan among those who believe the Junior Circuit can get the Dodgers’ goat; he has the White Sox gelling and upsetting the favored Hollywood heavyweights.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan predicts…Dodgers-White Sox World Series and a LOSS
Just look at that smiling Mookie Betts in the cover image. Laughing to keep from crying, gotta be.
We live in a baseball landscape where there’s one legitimate counterargument to penciling the Dodgers into the final group like Duke: wait, didn’t the Braves just dismantle them last season?
Yeah … while their bullpen was on an all-time heater, while Freeman was in Atlanta, and while Max Muncy — LA’s real 2021 MVP — was on the shelf. Next question?
When it comes to the American League, it’d be nice to face a real challenge, but Houston’s lost Carlos Correa, the Red Sox have lost Chris Sale, the Yankees have lost their ambition, Toronto’s never been there, and the White Sox looked like the freshman playing with varsity last fall while battling the Astros — and they’ve lost Carlos Rodón.
Could it happen? Could the ChiSox level up? Sure. But it’s going to take a massive leap to get on the Dodgers’ level, especially after they brought Clayton Kershaw back and imported an All-Star and an icon to fill Seager’s left-handed leadership void.