The Los Angeles Dodgers Have Finally Evolved into Legitimate Contenders

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With the 2017 NLCS well underway, all of our postseason questions are finally being answered. Yes, the Dodgers and the Cubs are playing a rematch of last year’s Championship series, but this postseason is different, and we’re starting to see why. This Los Angeles team is almost unrecognizable from who we saw last year, as they lost a decisive Game 6 of the NLCS to the Chicago Cubs.

The 2017 Dodgers are resilient.

So far in this series, a series the Dodgers lead 3-0, L.A. has outscored the Cubs 15 runs to four, and has capitalized excellent pitching from their bullpen as well as their starters.

I remember the 2017 playoffs better than almost anything. I saw the way the Dodgers played, I had hope, and I had faith, and I wanted it to be enough but the Cubs appeared destined to win the World Series last year. 2016 was the year the Curse was meant to be broken. 2017, however, is the year that the World Series could come west, and the team from Los Angeles has the chance to show the world who they are.

The other day, I was thinking about all the differences between the 2016 Dodgers and the 2017 Dodgers, and there’s a lot. For example, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, and Kenta Maeda as a reliever, Austin Barnes, Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson,  Logan Forsythe, Kyle Farmer and Curtis Granderson.

That list makes up nearly half of the NLCS roster, and each and every one of those players has written themselves into the Dodger history books by what they’ve done this year.

The Cubs are an amazing team, after all, they’re the 2016 World Champions. I was in Chicago a couple of weeks ago and I saw them play at Wrigley Field and it was as close to perfect as baseball can get, but I don’t see the same Cubs team now that I saw last fall. They’re still really good, and they could definitely make this a series again, but I think the script has been rewritten for 2017, and it’s the Dodgers who will emerge victorious.

Nobody knows whats going to happen these next few days, but I have complete confidence in these Dodgers because this team is different, and they’re complex, and it’s those complexities that make them so tough to beat.

I remember how the postseason felt last year, and I can assure you that it felt nothing like it does this year.

There is still a lot of baseball left to play, but the Dodgers seem to be completely prepared for everything that lies ahead.

(Sarah is an eighteen-year-old from Southern California. She’s grown up a Dodger fan and her love for the team—as well as the game of baseball—has grown up with her. She’s now embarking on a year of writing, reading, and learning more about baseball before she leaves for college in 2018. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahManinger)

 

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