The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants fought all year long for the top spot in the National League West division.
Despite the Dodgers’ larger pool of resources, San Francisco was able to hang on to their top spot and won the division with a 107-55 record.
The Dodgers were the second-best team in the division, and in the league, with a 106-56 mark.
San Francisco edged Los Angeles in their 2021 series, 10-9, but now that the Dodgers have gotten rid of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Game, the rivalry is, once again, on.
Both teams will fight for the right to advance to the NLCS and play against the winner of the other NLDS, the Milwaukee Brewers or the Atlanta Braves.
It will be a truly exciting showdown of heavyweights.
You could say with confidence that whoever wins this series should be the favorite to lift the World Series trophy.
The Dodgers Have A Great Chance Of Repeating
Right now, however, there is a case to be made that the Dodgers are slight favorites to take the series even though they were second in the regular season standings.
In fact, Los Angeles has good odds of repeating their 2020 Fall Classic triumph.
This is, by no means, a knock on the Giants, who have been amazing to this point.
But Los Angeles seems to be better positioned to take a short series.
Dodgers pitching rotation: pic.twitter.com/ymbIdyWQey
— セバスチャン (@Sebass_4) October 3, 2021
Imagine what could have been if David Price was in top form, Clayton Kershaw was healthy, and Trevor Bauer wasn’t on administrative leave: that’s three additional Cy Young Award winners currently employed by the organization who won’t be available for the rotation.
Price is a bullpen piece, though, part of a deep group that includes the spectacular Blake Treinen, the hard-throwing Brusdar Graterol, strikeout artists Corey Knebel and Kenley Jansen, and reliable relievers Phil Bickford and Joe Kelly.
Enough Offense To Cover For Max Muncy
If the Dodgers are favorites, it’s also because their offense can produce runs in bunches.
Max Muncy won’t be available in the whole series, and while it’s certainly a big loss (he, after all, had a .249/.368/.527 line and 36 home runs), the Dodgers have enough firepower to cover for him.
Dodgers slugger Max Muncy recently visited Dr. ElAttrache and an MRI confirmed original diagnosis of a dislocated elbow and some other damage. He will keep his elbow immobilized for a couple weeks, but he will not need surgery as “everything is where it should be.”
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 7, 2021
Mookie Betts is a former MVP and a superstar in the game, Corey Seager was the NLCS and the World Series MVP last year when Los Angeles won it all, Cody Bellinger had a bad season, but is a former MVP himself, and other complementary pieces such as Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, Will Smith Justin Turner, and AJ Pollock, are ready to contribute.
Make no mistake: the Giants are no pushover, and if there is a team capable of eliminating the Dodgers, it’s them.
But Los Angeles should be viewed as the World Series favorites.