Disappointed Dodgers Chalked to Win Third Straight NL Crown

Willie Bee

Monday, October 29, 2018 1:13 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 1:13 PM UTC

Thwarted once again to win their first World Series in 30 years, the Dodgers will try again in 2019 as the favorites on the MLB futures odds in the National League.

For the second straight season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have watched another team celebrate a World Series title on their revered grounds at Chavez Ravine, and visions of the Astros a year ago and Red Sox this year are going to make for haunting reminders between now and their 2019 regular-season opener on March 28.

Losing once can often be a motivating factor for a team; losing two World Series in a row can often sink a team into an inescapable valley of despair. The folks who the MLB futures don’t believe the latter will be the case, however, installing the Dodgers as the favorites to win a seventh straight NL West title and a third consecutive NL flag, and ranking L.A. just behind Boston and Houston to go all the way.

Kershaw The No. 1 Priority

One of the first offseason decisions awaiting Andrew Friedman and the Los Angeles front office isn’t even one they get to make on their own. Clayton Kershaw, the ace of the staff for nine seasons and the losing pitcher in Sunday’s Game 5 as a small favorite at Bookmaker, can opt out of the final two years of his contract and hit the free-agent market. Despite his pedestrian postseason track record, the Dodgers want him back, which probably means Friedman and Kershaw’s agents at Excel Sports Management working out a new deal to extend the 3-time Cy Young winner through 2025 when Kershaw would be 37 years old.

Los Angeles also needs to decide whether to fish or cut bait with manager Dave Roberts. By all accounts, Roberts was a steadying influence in the dugout following a slow start in 2018, and has guided the team to 287 regular-season wins and two pennants in his three years as Dodgers skipper. But expectations are for more than just a league pennant and, if Roberts isn’t brought back, Joe Girardi looms as a replacement.

Could L.A. Lure Bryce Harper To Tinseltown?

An early injury to Corey Seager led to the Dodgers eventually trading for Manny Machado to fill the shortstop void. All indications are Seager will be ready when spring training opens in February, and Machado will seek employment elsewhere. Pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu is also headed to free agency, with rumors suggesting he will return to his native South Korea to continue his career. Another midseason acquisition, second baseman Brian Dozier, is a free agent as well.

Having deep pockets will help the Dodgers make up for personnel losses they might incur to keep them chalky on next season’s baseball odds boards. Should Los Angeles lose Ryu as well as Kershaw, the club could look for a right-handed starter to balance their lefty-heavy rotation. The Dodgers might also be players in the chase for Washington outfielder Bryce Harper, and could absorb another outfielder thanks to the versatility of Kike Hernandez and Chris Taylor.

Whatever happens, you can follow SBR’s free MLB picks page to stay up to date and ready to roll when the 2019 season begins.

2019 WORLD SERIES

ODDS

Boston Red Sox

7/1

Houston Astros

7/1

Los Angeles Dodgers

8/1

New York Yankees

8/1

Chicago Cubs

12/1

Cleveland Indians

12/1

Atlanta Braves

4/1

Milwaukee Brewers

14/1

St. Louis Cardinals

18/1

Washington Nationals

18/1

Philadelphia Phillies

20/1

Colorado Rockies

35/1

New York Mets

35/1

Oakland Athletics

35/1

Los Angeles Angels

50/1

Tampa Bay Rays

50/1

Pittsburgh Pirates

60/1

Seattle Mariners

60/1

Arizona Diamondbacks

75/1

Chicago White Sox

75/1

Minnesota Twins

75/1

Toronto Blue Jays

75/1

Cincinnati Reds

120/1

San Diego Padres

120/1

San Francisco Giants

120/1

Texas Rangers

120/1

Detroit Tigers

250/1

Kansas City Royals

250/1

Miami Marlins

250/1

Baltimore Orioles

350/1

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