By now, the overall consensus is that the Los Angeles Dodgers are going to be a consistent threat to not only win the National League West division, but to go deep in the playoffs.
They've been to the playoffs for 10 straight seasons and have established a culture of excellence. From top to bottom, the starting lineup is lethal and the pitching staff, when healthy (and assuming it gets some reinforcements), can get LA through the grind of a 162-game season.
But does this unit have what it takes to compete in a crowded NL picture and perhaps take a shot at a World Series title, especially after they fell spectacularly short in 2019, 2021 and 2022?
The 2023 version of the Dodgers is still good but there are some problems to sort out. On the surface, nobody would really bet against them. It's clear they can't bank on making it through October with what they have at the moment, though.
What's the best assessment of this team at this moment in time?
3 reasons why the Dodgers are still World Series contenders and 2 why they're not
Still contending No. 1: The rookies are absolutely legit
As much as this roster is filled with talent at 30 years or older, the Dodgers have received some excellent contributions from a pair of newcomers in outfielder James Outman and starting pitcher Bobby Miller.
Should the club continue to roll and find themselves in contention, the game's biggest stage is sure to be a massive task to face for these young guns, but they've stepped into their respective roles nicely in the big leagues.
Outman, 26, has cooled off since his scorching start to the season, but he's still boasting a cool .767 OPS with a 104 OPS+ thanks to nine home runs, 33 RBI, seven stolen bases, and a still-developing eye at the plate. He plays a solid center field and could conceivably find himself in the Rookie of the Year discussion at season's end.
For the 24-year-old Miller, he's only made five starts but has already shown enough to suggest that he may be here to stay. The right-hander has induced ground balls at 50% rate so far, has done an efficient job at keeping runners off the bases, and preventing the ball from leaving the park. He and other newcomer Emmet Sheehan are off to great starts in their big league careers.