For the 11th season in a row, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing October baseball as the team looks to take home its eighth World Series trophy in franchise history. Unlike the last three years, the Dodgers are not the juggernaut favorites to win it all, even though the team has still been great in 2023.
That title instead goes to the Atlanta Braves. It's actually nice for the Dodgers to be on the other side of that coin, as disappointment typically follows being the team that has the highest expectations in October.
Time and time again a more talented Dodgers team was burned by less-talented playoff foes who had unlikely playoff heroes step up to steal a playoff series. This year, it's the Dodgers' turn to have some unlikely postseason heroes to make a run at the Commissioner's Trophy.
3 Dodgers who are primed to be unlikely postseason heroes
3. Ryan Yarbrough
The Dodgers acquired Ryan Yarbrough at the trade deadline and it quietly could be one of the best moves that any team made midseason. Yarbrough, who has plenty of postseason experience, was struggling up until the deadline but has completely flipped his season around since being traded to LA.
Yarbrough's 3.12 ERA would be a career-high across an entire season and his 1.067 WHIP would be the second-lowest of his career. He hasn't been perfect and has struggled slightly more in recent outings, but that's what makes his potential heroics a surprise in the first place.
Every single year the most successful playoff teams have the heroic pitcher (typically a lefty) that can come out of the bullpen and throw 2-3 innings to get through a turn in the rotation. The Dodgers had it in 2020 and the Washington Nationals had it in 2019. Yarbrough could be that guy for the Dodgers.
With a starting rotation that is inexperienced, having Yarbrough to bring out of the bullpen and pitch the fourth through sixth innings could be a godsend for the Dodgers, not only potentially securing a win in one game, but changing the entire complexion of a playoff series as well.