Can the Dodgers have another crack at the World Series this year?

Even the staunchest Dodgers fan would have to say that it’s not looking good right now. LA’s finest have had a dismal first quarter of the season, losing consecutive games to some of the weakest teams in the league. Even by their usual injury-prone standards, they’ve been incredibly unlucky, with some of their strongest contenders spending more time on the disabled list than on the field. So, is there any hope that the Dodgers can pull the fat out of the fire and get into the World Series in 2018?

Hungry and capable

It’s important to remember that when they’re on form, the Dodgers are one of the best teams around. This is essentially the same team that got within one game of the World Series in 2016, before losing out to the Houston Astros. This means that they have the capability to excel, and more. They’re hungry for the chance, even if it may not look like it right now.

Furthermore, the Dodgers also got off to a poor start in 2017, after which they played brilliantly for most of the season. Unfortunately, they also finished badly after losing to the Astros once again, beginning a losing streak that they’re still in the midst of. However, the point is that when the Dodgers are good, they’re great, and despite their erratic performance they still finished 2017 with a 104-58 record, their best since moving to LA.

Against the odds

It’s not impossible then for the Dodgers to stage an incredible comeback, but with every poor game or injury suffered, it becomes less and less likely. Still, anyone betting on the Dodgers today would find they were in the money if the team’s fortunes suddenly turned around. The current favorites, the Astros, only real challengers right now seem to be the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees, with the Dodgers’ odds having plummeted since the start of the season.

Injury prone

The trouble is that whenever the Dodgers have bounced back before they’ve been able to call on sterling reinforcements. Right now, almost all their potential saviors are on the disabled list. At the end of April, it was announced that Corey Seager would miss the rest of the season with a strained UCL, and then Clayton Kershaw followed with bicep injuries. 

Rich Hill has been on and off the disabled list all season, and even when he has been playing he’s been in poor form. A serious groin strain has also seen Hyun-Jin Ryu taken out of the running. On the positive side, Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe have all returned to active duty.

Staying positive

Some have called for manager Dave Roberts to resign, but his fabled positivity may be all that is keeping the team going right now, along with Cody Bellinger and Kenley Jansen. The problems are many: a catastrophic bullpen, poor rotation, and a lack of real depth. Even to be a wild card, it’s estimated that the Dodgers would have to go 70-49 for the rest of the season. Can the current roster pull that off?

The World Series isn’t completely out of reach for the legendarily mercurial Dodgers, but its receding further with every day.