Roster Depth Key to Dodgers’ Success

In their attempt to successfully defend their World Series title, the Los Angeles Dodgers are currently on track to record at least 100 wins per 162 games for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

The fact that the Dodgers are still performing at such a level is testament to the quality and depth of their roster, with them having had to overcome a number of issues on and off the field this year.

Players on the Slide

Center fielder Cody Bellinger (who won the National League MVP after hitting .305 with a .406 OBP, a 1.035 OPS and 8.2 WAR per 162 in 2019) has suffered a steep decline in performance over the past two years, even allowing for the fact that he has struggled with a fractured fibula and hamstring problems for lengthy periods this season.

There's also been a downturn in performance from all of the team's best returning players from 2020, with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Taylor, and Tony Gonsolin all producing below their usual levels.

And the least said about the Dodgers' marquee offseason acquisition, pitcher Trevor Bauer, the better.

MLB Betting Odds

Despite the downturn, the current 2021 World Series betting odds with the popular offshore sportsbook Bovada still has the Dodgers as favorites at +320 to make a successful defense of the Commissioner's Trophy they won last season.

They can also be backed at +160 to win the 2021 National League with Bovada and are +275 to see off the San Francisco Giants in the race to be the National League West winner.

Latest World Series Winner Odds*

Los Angeles Dodgers +320
San Francisco Giants +475
Houston Astros +550
Milwaukee Brewers +450
Tampa Bay Rays +650
Chicago White Sox +700
Oakland Athletics +1000
New York Yankees +1400
Boston Red Sox +1500
Atlanta Braves +1600
St. Louis Cardinals +1600
Toronto Blue Jays +2200
Philadelphia Phillies +4000
Seattle Mariners +6000
San Diego Padres +7000
New York Mets +15000
Cincinnati Reds +30000

*Odds subject to change.

For those of you not familiar with how odds work, the numbers shown simply represent the amount you would win for a $100 stake. So for example, a $100 bet on the Dodgers today would win you $330 profit giving a total return of $430. A negative number shows the amount you would have to bet in order to win $100.

Gambling on sports online in the United States is currently legal in 22 states, while in-person betting (only inside casinos) is permitted in three states.

Players Stepping Up

While the marquee names have, to varying degrees, not performed as expected this season, others have stepped up. Starting pitcher Walker Buehler has led the way, but there have also been notable performances from veteran third baseman Justin Turner, infielder Max Muncy, catcher Will Smith, and Julio UrĂ­as in his first full-length season as a starter although he did show an unexplainable velocity dip in last Tuesday night's game in Colorado.

There were also the significant 2021 trade deadline moves that saw the Dodgers adding pitcher Max Scherzer and infielder Trea Turner from the Washington Nationals.

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