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Los Angeles Dodgers vs Arizona Diamondbacks Preview
Two teams that had great offseasons clash in what is shaping up to be a blockbuster division match.
With the Los Angeles Dodgers acquiring 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts and reliable pitcher David Price, they have been considered as one of the favourites to win the World Series in 2020. Still retaining the services of 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger, they have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to their outfield with the last two MVPs playing in that space.
Betts and Bellinger will definitely be the prime players to watch for the Dodgers in this match-up, not just because of their star power but their tendency to just dominate the entire game individually, let alone together.
On the other hand, the Diamondbacks from out of nowhere managed to sign Madison Bumgarner giving them a good starting pitcher. They also signed outfielder Kole Calhoun, who is just off a career season where he hit 33 home runs. An overall great offseason for Arizona has made people very excited for the team and has been considered as a fringe contender in the National League.
Finishing at 106-56 last season, the Dodgers are the overwhelming favourites to win the National League. The only team that is considered to be a threat to their World Series promised land is the Atlanta Braves who won 97 games last season.
With what people are considering as the best Dodgers lineup in history, the pressure is mounting for the Los Angeles side. Knowing the personnel that is present in the team, however, it will not be a surprise if the Dodgers were the ones to make it to the World Series to face their counterparts.
There have been many things said about Betts and Price as a key acquisition, but their teammates have praised the pair’s championship-winning experience as well. Infielder Max Muncy said, ‘On top of an MVP-caliber player, you’re adding a guy who knows how to win. He’s won a World Series. He knows what it takes to do it, and we need that in the clubhouse. When you bring him in and David, that’s two guys who have been there’.
Last season, the Diamondbacks missed the playoffs by only four games, they were always around the middle in many categories like batting average, on-base percentage, etc. They were considered as overachievers last season when they won 85 games. Ketel Marte had an MVP-level season finishing 4th in the NL MVP voting. He managed to hit 32 home runs. Eduardo Escobar was also a revelation for the Diamondbacks hitting 35 home runs.
Now with the addition of Starling Marte, Kole Calhoun and Madison Bumgarner, they are expected to become stronger in the National League. Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen was very happy with their offseason saying, ‘We think we have a very deep roster at this pint. I think our pitching staff is deeper with a little bit more experience top to bottom. I think our bullpen is going to be stronger and deeper. That’s always something we need to address every season’.
They will face a real test when they face title favourites, Los Angeles Dodgers at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Scottsdale, Arizona on the 25th of February.
Words: Cholo Martin