Nobody heats up, en masse, like the August Los Angeles Dodgers.
From MVP Mookie Betts to Doubles King Freddie Freeman, this year's Dodgers have a different vibe heading towards October -- even Dino Ebel agrees. But eviscerating the league in August? That's nothing new, actually. LA has been doing it for four straight years at a level unmatched since MLB pitchers were throwing 400 innings and inventing the curveball.
Starting in 2020, when they made the entire MLB season out of August (thanks!), the Dodgers have reached a higher peak during the dog days of summer.
This season somehow represents their best August stretch yet; Los Angeles has already secured, at worst, a 23-6 record that outshines their 2022 output of 22-6. That means they've earned four consecutive seasons with a .750+ winning percentage in August, and they've built on the previous summer every single time.
The only other team in MLB history to do that barely even qualified for MLB, which was established by charter in 1876. From that point forward, from 1878 to 1881, the Chicago White Stockings laid waste to a league full of farmers, moonshiners, and cattle ranchers in the same manner the Dodgers have from 2020-2023. If the 1881 White Stockings are your only peer, that means you're pretty peerless.
Dodgers and 1881 Chicago White Stockings share record for dominance
Did the '81 White Stockings have a Mookie Betts type? Were they out there fleecing the Red Stockings back then, too? If not, advantage modern Dodgers.
Of course, every good Dodgers fan knows that a flaming August doesn't always turn into a clutch October. Until Los Angeles wins the big one at the end of a full, 162-game season, they're going to be derided by their haters -- especially coming off of 2022, when they won 111 games and the only thing they inspired was columns about how their early exit wasn't fair, and they deserved to win a "Best Team Award" instead.
Ideally, Ebel is right, and this cast of comeback kids (and veterans) is better equipped to survive a rough-and-tumble October slate despite a thinner-than-normal rotation. It's fair to see the warning signs ahead and still be over the moon about how well Andrew Friedman's plan has come together, though. Thank goodness he learned all those lessons from the White Stockings about how to build a powerhouse roster (and avoid dysentery on the Oregon Trail).