Continuing with the midseason team reviews by UK-based fans, here is Martin Downs (@justmart) with a health check on the LA Dodgers.
How has the season gone so far?
Matt Kemp is an all-star, Ross Stripling leads the pitching staff in WAR and some guy called Max Muncy has hit 24 home runs took part in the home run derby. The season couldn’t have really got off to a worse start with injuries to Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager and Justin Turner contributing to a 26-30 record through May. Things weren’t looking great but then everyone had forgotten about Matt Kemp and nobody knew who Max Muncy was (seriously, who is he?). Kemp, who was brought back to the Dodgers because Joe from Accounts thought it would be a good idea, is batting 296/344/501. Nobody saw that one coming. As of writing, the Dodgers lead the NL West and given our start, that’s an incredible comeback but it’s going to be a nail-biting last 8 weeks (God the baseball season is long!)
Stars and flops:
At the start of May, Chris Taylor was hitting 233/.273/.425. He’s improved somewhat of late, so hopefully, it will be a tale of two halves but it’s been a disappointing start. I’ll never criticise Clayton Kershaw, he could be throwing 85mph fastballs up and over the plate and I’d still be chanting MVP at my iPad. He’s obviously not the pitcher he was but remember when we all wrote off Justin Verlander? I’m hoping he finds a way.
Ross Stripling has been the stand out star of the season. A 2.68 ERA and 3.09 FIP, fingers crossed this is his breakout season.
Since I can’t remember anything before the World Cup kicked off and I’m a sucker for a walk-off, I’ll go for Kiké Hernandez tagging up on a throwing error and scoring to walk it off in the 11th against the Rangers
Revised Win-Loss Prediction:
I/FanGraphs predicted 93/69 and I’m sticking with it (*inserts smug emoji*).