- The Dodgers set an MLB record by hitting eight home runs in their Opening Day rout of the Diamondbacks
- The resurgence of Cody Bellinger and return of Corey Seager have bolstered an already potent offense
- The fast start has improved the Dodgers’ World Series odds, but true test awaits on upcoming road swings through Colorado and St. Louis
The Los Angeles Dodgers put the rest of Major League Baseball on notice on Opening Day, connecting on a record eight home runs while romping to a 12-5 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers continued their hit parade through their four-game weekend series with the Diamondbacks, outscoring Arizona by a wide 42-22 margin while picking up the win in three of four contests. Their odds to win the 2019 World Series have improved accordingly, going from +750 on March 22nd to +680 on April 1st.
Odds to Win 2019 World Series
|Team||2019 World Series Odds at Bovada|
|New York Yankees||+210|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+245|
|Boston Red Sox||+750|
*Odds taken 04/01/19
Last weekend’s domination of their desert rivals featured 14 total home runs, and leaves the Dodgers trailing only the Seattle Mariners, who have scored 48 total runs through six contests so far in this young season. But is the Dodgers’ early success a preview of what to expect from them all season, or did they just beat up on a bad team?
The short answer is, a little of both.
Dodgers Remain an Offensive Force Despite Offseason Moves
The club undertook a number of personnel changes during the offseason, parting ways with the likes of Manny Machado, Matt Kemp, and Yasiel Puig, while adding outfielder AJ Pollock and pitcher Joe Kelly, but remained largely steady on the World Series odds, dipping to +850 in late January before rebounding to +750 as recently as March 22nd.
After leading the National League in runs and home runs in 2018, an offensive explosion from the Dodgers is hardly a surprise. With a meaty batting order anchored by Cody Bellinger, Joc Pederson, Matt Muncy, and Corey Seager, piling up runs will not be a problem in Los Angeles this season.
The @Dodgers have scored 42 runs in four games this season. Only four other teams since 1900 scored that many runs in their first four games of a season:@Brewers 1978 49@Yankees 1950 48@tigers 1901 45@Cubs 1954 45@Dodgers 2019 42
— Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports) April 1, 2019
Bellinger showed flashes of his 2017 NL Rookie of the Year form over opening weekend, going 10-for-20 with four home runs, and Pederson contributed with three long balls, while Seager made his first game appearance since seeing his 2018 campaign lost to injury.
Diamondbacks Open 2019 Campaign Amid Low Expectations
Conversely, expectations in Arizona are admittedly low following an offseason of change that has left the Diamondbacks pegged as +4500 longshots to win the NL West Pennant.
— Daniel Coyle (@thepopgun) March 28, 2019
In addition to Pollock’s departure for Los Angeles, the Diamondbacks shipped All-Star Paul Goldschmidt to St. Louis via trade, and also bid farewell to pitchers Clay Buchholz and Patrick Corbin.
Losing to the Dodgers is also nothing new for Arizona, which has tallied consecutive wins just once during a 5-10 slide in dates at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers Pitching an Early Cause for Concern
However, the Dodgers’ opening weekend also provided plenty of cause for concern. While the club posted a pair of lopsided wins over the Diamondbacks, the other two dates in the series were close one-run ball games that could have gone either way.
Joe Kelly’s Dodger debut:
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) March 30, 2019
Pitching concerns plagued the club over the four-game series. Young starter Walker Buehler struggled while surrendering five earned runs over 3.0 innings in Sunday’s 8-7 win, and reliever Joe Kelly blew leads on two occasions, contributing to a total of 13 earned runs allowed by the Dodgers bullpen in 19.0 innings of work.
True Test Awaits Dodgers on Upcoming Road Trip
Of course, there is lots to like about this Dodgers squad, starting with their short -425 odds to win a seventh straight NL West divisional crown. But with the lightweight San Francisco Giants following the Diamondbacks into town, it is tough to properly assess the value in this club’s current World Series odds until they embark on a seven-game road trip later this week that will feature series with the rejuvenated Cardinals and the division rival Colorado Rockies.
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