It was a largely frustrating offseason for Dodgers fans with the Big Blue failing to land many of their initial trade targets. However, the arrival of Mookie Betts in early February left many of them feeling optimistic about their side’s chances of bouncing back from last season’s disappointment. They will be desperate to atone for their unexpected ALDS loss to the Washington Nationals, and Betts’ presence, coupled with a number of exciting young prospects could help them end their drought in 2020.
Betts is a former American League MVP and arrived in Los Angeles from Boston at the beginning of the year. With the Red Sox desperately trying to cut costs, it appeared to be the perfect opportunity for the Boys in Blue to strike a cut-price deal for the talented right fielder. With Alex Verdugo and pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol heading in the opposite direction, it’s an agreement which appears to have benefited both parties. Having already missed out on Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon, confirmation of this deal was welcomed with open arms by the Dodgers support.
The new arrival admits that it was ‘weird’ donning the Dodger blue for the first time, and although he’s yet to get out on the pitch, fans are understandably looking forward to seeing him in action at the Dodger Stadium later this year.
Betts is regarded as one of the best all-round talents and his versatility should come in extremely handy this season. The Dodgers have had little trouble wrapping up the NL West in recent years; however, the World Series has proved elusive. Having been defeated at the final hurdle in two of the last three seasons, they’ll be keen to go one step further this time around, and the arrival of Betts will certainly enhance their chances. They’ve currently 7/2 joint favorites in the latest World Series betting odds alongside the New York Yankees, and having gambled on the former Red Sox man, they will be desperately hoping that they can justify their place at the top of the market.
Last season’s MVP Cody Bellinger remains at Dodger Stadium, and following his hat-trick of awards in 2019, he’ll be expected to perform to an equally high standard this time around. Clayton Kershaw, who was the last Dodgers player to pick up the prestigious MVP award, prior to Bellinger, back in 2014, is apparently 100% fit and raring to go, and that will provide a huge boost for coach Dave Roberts. He remains one of the franchises’ all-time greats, and luckily, he isn’t ready to retire anytime soon.
With tonight’s victory, @ClaytonKersh22 passes Sandy Koufax for most wins by a Dodger left-handed pitcher.
Pitcher Walker Buehler is always a threat, whilst a trio of top prospects: Gavin Lux, Will Smith and Tony Gonsolin will all be hoping to get more minutes on the pitch this season.
Although he only finished eighth in the AL MVP voting last season, and had a quiet year by his standards, Mookie Betts may just be the player that the Dodgers have been crying out for. With an already impressive roster, that extra dollop of star quality may just enable the Big Blue to get over the line and secure their first World Series title since 1988.