The Los Angeles Dodgers made a splash today by trading for Yu Darvish. The Dodgers sent three prospects to the Rangers for Darvish, including the 4th, 17th and 27th ranked prospects in their system.
The Dodgers are the best team in baseball at 74-31. They are 14 games up in the NL West. Currently, the Dodgers lead the entire MLB in ERA, behind ace of the MLB, Clayton Kershaw and one of the most improved pitchers in the league, Alex Wood. Adding Darvish just bolsters this pitching staff, who has been incredible all year. I mean they already have Kershaw, who’s been the best pitcher in baseball for years now. So adding another ace in Darvish just makes this staff that much more impressive.
Kershaw is on the DL now with a back injury, and is expected to miss about a month with this issue, but has been playing catch the past couple days, which is a good sign for the Dodgers. So it’s not like the move for Darvish is because the Dodgers are in panic mode, believing Kershaw won’t be available or healthy for the playoffs. The move might be a bit precautionary, but I think it’s mostly because they just want the best rotation in all of baseball. Who can blame them? The move to bring in Darvish was very impressive by the Dodgers. Not only will they get Darvish, who will help them make a deep run in the playoffs, but they also prevent other teams from getting him, which is just as important.
Although the Dodgers haven’t officially clinched a playoff berth yet with this much time left, you can pretty much pencil them into the playoffs. This team has been dominant all year. Dominant pitching mixed with the depth of their lineup, you could see the Dodgers were going to be awesome this year. Acquiring Darvish really makes this team the real deal. Before bringing in Darvish I could’ve easily seen this team playing in the NLCS. But with the addition of Darvish, I think he puts this 1st place team in the World Series. I believe the real competition in the NL lies with the Nationals and the Cubs, with the Rockies and Diamondbacks being honorable mentions.
The Nationals are deep and have two studs on their pitching staff as well in Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. Gio Gonzalez has also been incredible for the Nats this season, but he’s always been an inconsistent pitcher, and that’ll show come playoff time. Scherzer is the second best pitcher in baseball, and he’s no joke in the playoffs either. The Nationals with Bryce Harper playing at MVP level again, with Ryan Zimmerman having an amazing season, Anthony Rendon doing the same, and their two great pitchers, they could be competitive with the Dodgers, but I still think the Dodgers would win a series against the Nats.
The reigning World Series Champs Cubbies have been on fire since the all-star break. They’re 13-3 since the mid-summer classic and have taken over 1st place of the NL Central over the Brewers. I don’t see the Cubs getting by the Dodgers at this point. The Cubs haven’t had the pitching like they did last season, their rotation has been pretty awful. The addition of Jose Quintana definitely helps solidify that rotation, but I still favor the Dodgers.
What 1st place team wants to make this big of a splash at the trade deadline? A team that wants to go all the way. The headlining move is acquiring Darvish, but the Dodgers also traded for Tony Watson and Tony Cingrani. The addition of Watson could be a sleeper move for the remaining of the season. The Dodgers already have arguably the most dominant closer in all of baseball in Kenley Jansen, so adding the lefty Watson as a setup man will just make the later innings that much smoother for the Dodgers.
I think the Dodgers are headed to the World Series. The Red Sox fan in me wants to say it’ll be a Dodgers vs. Red Sox World Series, but I don’t think the Sox will make it there. Especially with the moves the Yankees have made prior to the deadline, adding Sonny Gray, Jaime Garcia, Todd Frazier and David Robertson, while the Sox have just added Eduardo Nunez and Addison Reed. The Yanks have made strides to become much better and become an actual threat to make it through the AL. Then there are the Astros, who are the favorite to run the table on the AL and make it to the World Series. The pitching for the Stros hasn’t been great aside from Dallas Keuchel, but that lineup is more than scary to get through with their nucleus of Altuve, Springer and Correa. A Yanks Stros ALCS wouldn’t surprise me at this point.
The move by the Dodgers to bring in Yu Darvish, adding to the great rotation the Dodgers already have, I believe will get this team to the World Series. This team is deep. Cody Bellinger has come up and had an unreal rookie season. Corey Seager has continued living up to the hype, as he’s had Silver Slugger caliber season. Justin Turner is hitting .356. Chris Taylor has stepped up, playing different positions on the diamond, while hitting .312 with 12 bombs and 12 stolen bases. Yasiel Puig has added 19 HRs. And Yasmani Grandal has been solid behind the plate. This lineup is dangerous and the pitching staff is even more dangerous, which is just scary, and makes the Dodgers a heavy favorite for the World Series Title.
My not-so surprising World Series prediction is Dodgers vs. Astros. They’ve been the best teams in baseball for most of the season. I give the edge to the Dodgers to bring the Championship to LA. This team is too good and I don’t see them slowing down anytime soon. The move to bring in Darvish just goes to show how serious this team is as contenders. The Dodgers have set themselves up to cruise into the playoffs and look to wreak havoc on the entire league. This is the year of the Dodgers.