Many fans ask themselves if the proverbial World Series hangover is even real. Before the Dodgers won it all in 2020, the two previous World Champions Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals both failed to make the post season the following year.
Currently, the Dodgers are 16-10 and half a game back out of first place to the San Francisco Giants. Not many expected much from the Giants this year, but they’ve had quite the start to the season.
The Dodgers in their last ten games have posted a record of 3-7, and it seems like they’ve had quite the struggles at the plate, alongside some early-season worries in the bullpen.
While it may appear the Dodgers are unable to bring home runners in scoring position nearly every time, they currently sit eighth in the majors in overall team batting average. Their current batting average sits at .239 with a .OBP of 346. Their OPS sits at .751 and their SLG at .751.
Thursday night, the Dodgers outhit the Brewers 9-4, but Los Angeles was 1-for-5 with RISP and overall left nine runners on base, which was key for the Brewers in their 2-1 victory.
As far as pitching goes, the Dodgers find themselves in the Top 3, sitting third with an overall ERA of 2.97. In fact, the first three teams are all from the NL West, as the Padres are first, followed by the Giants.
The Los Angeles bullpen ERA sits at 3.87, which isn’t horrible, but it’s not the best measuring stick of relief performance, either. We’ve talked previously about the inability of the Dodgers to throw out basestealers, which leads to many unnecessary runs.
So the question is whether the Dodgers have a World Series hangover or what even makes up the definition of the fabled term. There are many factors that can come to play. The batting average and team ERA aren’t horrible, but they’ve just haven’t been able to win games the last couple weeks. Clutch performance seems to be minimal, as many of the team’s victories are results of blowouts.
We also have to take in consideration the injury bug that has bitten the Dodgers. Currently, the Dodgers have bullpen arms Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Tony Gonsolin, Corey Knebel and David Price on the injured list as well as former NL MVP Cody Bellinger and utility player Zach McKinstry.
The Dodgers have had quite the influx of players come in and out with all the movement on the injury list. Several players have gotten a chance to showcase their abilities by making their Dodger debuts, such as Sheldon Neuse, Luke Raley and DJ Peters.
But to answer the question if the Dodgers have a World Series hangover, I would say not yet. Thankfully, if they’re going to have a bad spell, which any team does in the majors at some point in the year, it would be better to happen this early in the season rather than September or October.
There’s still 136 games that are left in the season, which is enough for the Dodgers to be right where they want to be. Part of the reason I believe fans are worried is due to the short season we had last year and the sense of urgency throughout the entire campaign.
The Dodgers will look to tie up the series against the Brewers on Friday, as right hander Freddy Peralta will go for the Brewers. Peralta is 2-0 and has posted a 2.45 ERA so far this year. The Dodgers starter is still TBA, but manager Dave Roberts alluded it will be a bullpen game after Trevor Bauer gave the Dodgers a complete game Thursday.
The first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m Pacfifc.