The four reasons they won’t win the World Series next year
If Kershaw lands on the DL again… The Dodgers no longer need to rely on Kershaw in October; but having the best pitcher on the planet on your team is an advantage unlike any other. Kershaw was really good this past postseason, and if he stays healthy then things will be looking good, but the concern will be there. Kershaw, and the home runs he gave up this year are definitely something to think about, but an adjustment this offseason could easily be the end of that narrative.
If the Dodgers don’t make another big trade at the deadline… Regardless of what happened in the World Series, acquiring Yu Darvish was a huge win for the Dodgers in 2017. What I mean by that is simply acquiring Darvish made the trade worth it. When a team trades for a big name at the deadline, they establish themselves as strong postseason contenders. Should the Dodgers be in the place to make such a trade in 2018, they have to do it. If they don’t, October could look very different.
If the heart of the lineup isn’t hitting in October… Everybody in the lineup can hit. The Dodgers have an extremely good lineup, but the heart of it needs to be hitting in the postseason. If things stay the same, it will be Corey Seager in the two spot, Justin Turner hitting third, and Bellinger hitting cleanup. Each of those three can hit monster home runs, and they all will, but runs, whether it’s an RBI single or a grand slam, are extremely important in October.
If the bullpen isn’t as strong… If in the next few weeks, Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson are re-signed, feel free to scratch this one off the list. I truly believe that the bullpen is one of the most important parts of a ball club, and the Dodgers had a really good one in 2017. If the bullpen remains as is, or gets stronger, the Dodgers will be in really good shape. Should the bullpen falter, though, it could play a big role in the second half of the season.
No team is perfect, no team can predict what a season is going to look like. But the World Series doesn’t come down to luck, either. This season, the Dodgers were the best team in the National League, but the Astros were the best team in baseball.
Things could just as easily be reversed next fall.