The Los Angeles Dodgers are 64-50, have the best record in the National League, and are 2.5 games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West. Sounds like a destined to make it to the World Series, right? Perhaps. But that doesn’t mean the Dodgers are without flaws.
While the Dodgers lineup has been sporadic, it still ranks 4th in the NL in terms of runs and 2nd in terms of batting average. You can make it to the World Series with that type of output, especially when the lineup featured the likes of Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez, and the surging Matt Kemp.
The Dodgers starting rotation, despite it’s back end flaws, is the best in the NL in terms of ERA, at 3.22, and has the most wins of any staff in the league with 52. With Clayton Kershaw having a season for the ages, and Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitching at a high level, the Dodgers should have one of the strongest, if not the strongest, rotation in the playoffs.
So what’s the problem? It’s the bullpen. The Dodgers bullpen has the 11th worst ERA on the senior circuit with a 3.67 ERA and have issued the most walks in the National League with 153. The organization attempted to acquire top-tier bullpen talent at the deadline but fell short of doing so. In order for the Dodgers to advance and potentially win a championship, the bullpen is going to need to be a strength, not a weakness.
Fortunately, the Dodgers still have a chance to sure up their back end via waiver trade. The deadline for a waiver trade to occur is August 31st. Who should the Dodgers target, assuming a player they want clears waivers or they’re able to claim them? We’ve got a couple ideas.