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2 Ways The Dodgers Can Still Ruin This Thing

The NL West juggernaut looks primed for a long playoff run, but there are a few things that can still go poorly for LA.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in Major League Baseball. They are currently 75-33, good enough for a 15.5 game lead in the NL West. They are running away with their division. They just came off a weekend where they swept the "new look" Padres by outscoring them 20-4. They look like a fully operational death star. The question is, what could still go wrong for LA? They have had a good team every season for about a decade running. What could make the 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers fall apart? Let's take a look.

Pitching

The Dodgers have the best ERA in the majors. How could their pitching fall apart? Well, there are a few things that could happen. Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson have been nail guns. Gonsolin's previous high in innings pitched in a season is 55. He's already thrown 109 innings in 2022. That's a lot of strain on an arm that has never thrown anywhere near that many innings. Tyler Anderson has had that kind of workload before, but can he maintain the magical year he's had all the way into October?

The other questions surround their bullpen. The Dodgers are likely to get Dustin May and Blake Treinen back near the end of the season. Any team would love to get that kind of cavalry back. Given the injuries, nobody knows how effective May or Treinen will be. May is coming back from Tommy John surgery. That's the mother of all injuries where an arm has to be treated gently. Treinen's shoulder injury has left him out most of the season and nobody knows whether he will hold up when he returns. This is to say nothing of some pitchers who have struggled. Walker Buehler is also supposed to return, but he had a 4.02 ERA before he hit the rack. Nobody knows if he's going to be "fixed" by the time he returns. Craig Kimbrel currently sports a 4.15 ERA with a 100 ERA+. His FIP indicates a lot of his high ERA is bad luck, but you can't just head into October hoping for your luck to change.

The Dodgers have to hope Clayton Kershaw will be healthy and ready from his back injury to pitch deep into October.

Hitting

The starting three in the Dodgers lineup have been other-worldly good. Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman do not have any question marks. Some other parts of the lineup do have question marks. Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy have been pretty bad all season. There is some hope for Bellinger and Muncy, though. Both Muncy and Bellinger have OPS of over a thousand in their last seven games. Their bats may be coming back to life. There are no promises, though. Joey Gallo needs to come to life if the Dodgers are going to try and seriously use him as a bench bat. Chris Taylor has just come back from the injured list, but he was mired in a miserable slump before his injured list. The Dodgers bats can get this done, but obviously, in October everything is a dice roll.

Last Thoughts

This was written in the tone of an optimist who has watched a good team fail too many times in October. The Dodgers look impressively well-rounded, but it isn't the first time they have looked unbeatable.