The LA Dodgers finally decided to blow up the 2016 season, and they did so in the most dramatic of ways. When the dust settled, the Dodgers would finish with a 101-win season, a second straight NL West title, and the franchise’s first division title since 2009. If it wasn’t for the Chicago Cubs, the Dodgers would’ve won the NL Pennant, too.
Since 2015, the Major League Baseball season has been dominated by the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team finished its season winning the NL West with a record of 107-58. Coming off a World Series victory in 2014, the Dodgers were due for a resurgence.
It’s hard to imagine now, but in 2016, the Los Angeles Dodgers starting rotation was not at the level that fans now expect. The team’s 2016 starting rotation is an all-time great one, but it didn’t really work out to be an all-time great rotation in 2016. Take Clayton Kershaw, for example. In 2016 he had one of the best seasons of his career, finishing the year with a 17-4 record, with a 2.27 ERA, a 0.918 WHIP, and a 3.42 FIP.
The ever-rich Los Angeles Dodgers have been hard at work this season acquiring talent in search of their second title in as many years. They spent over $100 million on Trevor Bauer in the offseason (despite his signing being a disaster), acquired future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols after the Los Angeles Angels released him early in the season, and then swung a massive blockbuster trade for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner in the final hours of the MLB trade deadline.
The Dodgers have now added another another high-profile figure to their roster. Cole Hamels, a four-time All-Star and former World Series MVP, is the latest veteran to join the Dodgers in their quest for a World Series title.
Due to a persistent shoulder ailment, Hamels had a terrible 2020 season with the Atlanta Braves, pitching just 3.1 sloppy innings. However, during the last several months, the long-time Philadelphia Phillie has been rehabilitating and pitching, impressing MLB scouts during a recent Texas showcase.
Hamels inked a one-year deal for $1 million with per-start incentives, providing the Dodgers more starting pitching depth as they prepare to defend their World Series championship.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have added Cole Hamels and Max Scherzer to their rotation, giving them two more arms to depend on down the stretch.
While right-hander Walker Buehler has established himself as the Dodgers’ finest starting pitcher over the last two years or so, no discussion about the starting rotation in Los Angeles is complete without discussing Clayton Kershaw. When healthy in 2021, the 33-year-old southpaw has looked outstanding, perhaps the best pitcher in baseball over the last 14 years.
While the Dodgers rotation is presently one of the greatest in baseball, what stands out about them is how many all-time greats they have on their staff. If you go back five years to 2016, you’ll see one of the greatest rotations in baseball history.
Kershaw, Scherzer, Hamels, and David Price (whom the Dodgers acquired from the Boston Red Sox last summer) were all at the peak of their games throughout the 2016 season.
The current rotation of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016 may be the greatest in MLB history.
That season, Scherzer won the National League Cy Young Award, Hamels was named to his fourth career All-Star Game, Kershaw finished sixth in the NL Cy Young voting with a 1.69 ERA, and Price led all of baseball in both games started (35) and innings pitched thrown (152). (230).
Three All-Stars, two Cy Young Award contenders, and a front-line workhorse who led the league in a number of pitching categories? On paper, it may be the best starting lineup in baseball history.
It would be enough to give opposition batters nightmares if Kershaw and Scherzer were on the same club. When you add in a resurgent Hamels and a Boston-era Price, you’ve got four consecutive aces on the mound one after the other.
LA’s new pitching staff, despite its age, puts the team in a good position to win another World Series.
Norm Hall/Getty Images/Max Scherzer
For what it’s worth, this new-look Dodgers pitching staff in 2021 isn’t quite as intimidating as it would have been in 2016. Price has been demoted to the position of reliever, while Hamels is expected to take another several weeks to reach his pitch total as a starter.
Kershaw and Scherzer are still great pitchers. Kershaw, on the other hand, is beginning to show symptoms of wear and tear this season as the injuries keep piling up.
Regardless, a rotation with that many potential Hall of Famers seems to be very spectacular on paper. Time will tell whether this converts to victories in October, but for now, the Dodgers have climbed to the top of the MLB mountain.
Baseball Reference provided all stats.
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The Los Angeles Dodgers made a few changes to their starting rotation this off-season, including the loss of intentional part-timer Brandon McCarthy and the addition of Scott Kazmir to its starting rotation. Both moves were widely regarded as upgrades for the Dodgers, and their performance in 2016 would’ve backed that up.. Read more about max scherzer dodgers start and let us know what you think.
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