The Los Angeles Dodgers took their World Series chances from good to great at the 2021 trade deadline, as the team added future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer and MVP candidate Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals.
BREAKING: MAX IS GOING TO LA
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 30, 2021
It seems that L.A. was growing tired of chasing the San Francisco Giants in the National League West, and the Dodgers went out and did something about it.
A lot of fans are of the mindset that L.A. essentially locked up the 2021 World Series title with their recent moves.
That might be an excessive opinion, because at the end of the day, baseball is the one sport where nothing ever goes to plan.
However, there is no denying that the Dodgers are in great shape.
Evaluating The Dodgers’ Rotation With Scherzer
For the fifth rotation spot, L.A. will have to decide whether it wants to keep Tony Gonsolin (who has a 2.32 ERA over eight starts this season) or David Price (who has a 3.71 ERA over his last four starts) in the mix.
But the truth is, it doesn’t really matter which route the Dodgers go.
The team is going to win the National League West, and once the playoffs start, L.A. will be able to pivot to a ridiculous four-man rotation of Scherzer-Kershaw-Buehler-Urias.
There will be no easy nights when facing any of those guys.
On the topic of Scherzer, he is an elite playoff performer.
He’ll likely get the ball in Game 1 of any series, as he has a career 3.38 ERA across 22 postseason outings.
It’s impossible to overstate how big his addition is.
Since joining the Nationals in 2015, Max Scherzer has recorded more strikeouts (1,610) than any other @MLB pitcher.
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 29, 2021
Evaluating The Dodgers’ Lineup With Turner
The Dodgers already had one of the best lineups in baseball before trading for Turner, but with him, they’re going to be virtually impossible to deal with.
When healthy, L.A. is going to be able to roll out a lineup where every single player has an above-average OPS+.
The team might ultimately opt to go with a different lineup combination, but they will at least have the option of rolling with one that features nothing but above-average hitters.
That’s pretty remarkable.
Of course, NL rules will force the Dodgers to have a pitcher in their lineup each night, but every other bat will be elite.
The lineup will feature five MVP awards once Turner joins the mix.
That’s nightmare material for opposing pitchers.
To reiterate, there is no denying that this is a historically good team.
The L.A. roster essentially has no holes, and the fact the team is still here despite losing two elite starting pitchers speaks volumes.
However, the rest of the 2021 MLB season is not a foregone conclusion.
The Dodgers are big-time favorites, but baseball has a way of unfolding in a way that no one expects.