MLB Network insider Harold Reynolds joined the Dan Patrick Show to talk postseason baseball. They began by talking about the 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers, because why wouldn’t you talk about the best team in baseball?
Patrick asked him a simple question: “How big of favorites are the Dodgers? And how big of favorites should they be?”
Reynolds, who’s been with the MLB Network since 2009, clearly isn’t a huge fan of the Dodgers.
“Well I think they’re probably highly favored,” Reynolds said, “but I think they’re overrated with the favoritism.”
Okay so an insider doesn’t think the team with the best record and run differential in baseball is the favorite. That’s okay. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. He must have a good reason for this belief, right?
“I’m a little concerned about their starting pitching,” Reynolds said. “I think the pitching is not where it was at. You lose Walker Buehler, that was a huge blow to them. And Scherzer’s now with the Mets. So you look at the staff from last year that didn’t get all the way there, they’re two down. I just don’t see it.”
Interesting. So he didn’t point to the injuries of Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May, Blake Treinen or Chris Taylor as a concern. He pointed to the fact that they’re without two of the starters from last season’s team, even though they won 111 games this year without Scherzer all year and Buehler for most of it.
But pitching wasn’t his only concern.
“The top three guys in the lineup I think have a chance to be all Hall of Fame potential players,” Reynolds said. “Mookie, Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, incredible. But there’s a drop-off after that.”
So Reynolds doesn’t think Will Smith, one of the league’s best hitting catchers, is a threat come postseason time. He also doesn’t think Justin Turner, one of the hottest hitters in baseball in the second half of the season, is a worry for opposing pitchers. Nor is the power-hitting Max Muncy, or the rest of the lineup, including Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux. Does he know the Dodgers had a +334 run differential this season, the league’s fourth-best since the beginning of the 20th century, and best since 1939?
Reynolds finished it off with a double down.
“I still think the Braves are the favorite in the National League,” Reynolds said. “The Braves are the best team in baseball.”
Definitely an interesting comment coming from someone who’s watched the Dodgers put together one of the best regular seasons in MLB history. But I guess everyone can’t be on your side, and the Dodgers should only use comments like this as motivation to turn one of the best regular seasons in MLB history into one of the best complete seasons the league has ever seen.