The Los Angeles Dodgers were the World Series favorites when the 2021 regular season opened and when it concluded. However, the Dodgers were upset in the NLCS in six games by the Atlanta Braves. Still, LA is again the favorite to win it all in 2022.
MLB Analysis 2022 season
Down 3-1 in the NLCS, the Dodgers stayed alive with an 11-2 home win in Game 5. Chris Taylor had the game of his career with three homers and six RBIs. Taylor became the second Dodgers player with a three-homer game in the playoffs. Kiké Hernández also did it in Game 5 of the 2017 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Taylor also hit a game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth inning against St. Louis in the NL wild-card game for the 106-win Dodgers. However, the Dodgers dropped Game 6 in Atlanta 4-2. The Braves would then upset the Astros in the World Series.
It’s almost easy to forget that with how good the Dodgers were, they didn’t even win the NL West – the Giants did. Los Angeles clubbed 237 homers and finished the season third in the National League in homers, trailing only San Francisco (241) and Atlanta (239). It was the first season since 2017 that the Dodgers have not led the NL in homers.
The Dodgers tied Colorado for the Major League lead with 11 grand slams, a new Dodgers franchise record for bases loaded clouts, surpassing their previous high of 10, which they set in 2004. Max Muncy led the team with 36 homers, setting a new career-high and recording his 118th homer in Dodger Blue. The infielder’s 118 homers with the Dodgers rank 27th all-time and his 36 homers tied for fourth in the NL. With 35+ homers in three seasons (2018, 2019, 2021), he became only the third Dodger in Franchise history with three 35+ homer seasons, joining Duke Snider (5 times) and Mike Piazza (3).
On August 7 against the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers tied a franchise record with eight homers in a game, matching their other two eight-homer games on March 28, 2019 vs. ARI and May 23, 2005 at MIL. The Dodgers had 12 games with four or more homers, which was fourth best in the Majors, behind San Francisco and Toronto (18) and Boston (13). Los Angeles homered in 123 of its 162 games and went 91-32 when hitting at least one homer. The Dodgers were 46- 11 when hitting two or more home runs in a game.
While some big free agents are still on the market due to the lockout, the Dodgers did lose former NL Rookie of the Year and World Series MVP Corey Seager to the Rangers. Seager finished his seventh season in Dodger Blue with a .306 batting average and 16 homers and 57 RBI. He missed part of the season with a broken hand but returned July 30th and finished the season hitting .335 (69-for-205) with 15 doubles, one triple, 12 homers and 35 RBI.
Also gone is Max Scherzer, who signed with the Mets. He finished third in the NL Cy Young voting, splitting his season with Washington and Los Angeles. Scherzer posted a 7-0 record with a 1.98 ERA (15 ER/68.1 IP) and 92 strikeouts in 11 regular-season starts for the Dodgers. The Dodgers went 11-0 in his starts and on Sept. 12 vs. San Diego, he became the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to record his 3,000-strikeout with a strikeout of Eric Hosmer. He currently ranks 18th all-time with 3,020 strikeouts and is the strikeout leader amongst active players.
Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urías led the pitching staff all season, going a combined 43-7 with a 2.59 ERA. The Dodgers went 59-17 in games started by one of the three. The three hurlers joined the 1927 Yankees as the only teams to ever to have the Top-3 pitchers in win percentage at the end of the season (min. 15 decisions), as Urias led the Majors with a .870 winning percentage, while Buehler (.800) and Scherzer (.789) finished second and third.