How The Dodgers May Fare in a 48-game season

As the players and owners continue their game of chess, one thing seems fairly certain now, and that is do not expect the 2020 season to exceed 100 games. As negotiations progress, the latest proposal written down by the owners, offered a 76-game season. Of course, the players would not be payed per game because apparently that’s just too much for these high net worth owners. Multiple MLB insiders, including Jeff Passan, Joel Sherman, and Jon Heyman are optimistic that talks will continue, and that they want to get a deal done. However, several reporters also think it might take a 48-game season for both parties to get what they want.

If the 2020 season does result in a 48-game season then that’ll be the shortest regular season in MLB history and quite honestly not large enough of a sample size to determine which team is the best. To entice both sides more, there might be as many as 16 teams competing in the postseason. This may protect some teams that got off to an early slow start, but this also feels like a battle royal where some top seeds might be taken down by the teams flirting around the .500 mark.

For the Dodgers, you’d almost expect them to be in the postseason dance. Especially if their schedule is mostly comprised of NL West opponents. A .500 record would be 24 wins, which feels like nothing when comparing that to the 106 wins they achieved just a season ago.

You can estimate that 48 games would equate to 12-13 starts for Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and David Price along with the rest of the rotation to give it their all. Every game increases by over triple in value, which results in a shorter leash for players and less opportunities to experiment with younger pitchers and hitters. Below shows the Dodgers record after their first 48 games played over the last 3 seasons. In 2019 they would’ve had the top seed, but only one season before they wouldn’t even qualify for the postseason despite actually going on to win the NL pennant. The 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers were forgetfully in 3rd place in the NL West after 48-games, but would go on to be the best team in MLB.

2019                                                                                2018                                                    2017

 

 

Overall, the best way to assess this type of shortened season is to put heavy stock into nearly every game. In the past fans loved to comment on Dodgers social media lineup posts angry if a certain player was out of the lineup. Well this might finally be their year to have a justified reaction. Last season Cody Bellinger was hitting over .400 over the Dodgers first 48 games, so expect a lot of unusual things to end the potential regular season. Even though the Dodgers are built for the long-haul,they certainly have the most depth out of any other team and have a number of different options to plug in to ensure that they get production right away.

Kevin Klein writes for DLD, co-hosts The Incline Podcast and you can follow him on Twitter @Klein25