A recap of how the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series

Chris Gowarty, Asst. Sports Editor

At the end of the 2020 MLB season, the Los Angeles Dodgers won their seventh World Series Championship in franchise history. It was their first title since 1988, ending a 32-year drought for the team.

Before 2020, the Dodgers clinched seven straight NL West Division titles from 2013-2019. In two of those seven seasons, they participated in the World Series, but they lost both matchups (2017 to the Houston Astros and 2018 to the Boston Red Sox). 

Despite having a constant presence in the playoffs, the team was still without a world championship for 32-straight seasons, as they ended their 2019 campaign being eliminated in the first round by the Washington Nationals. 

Being eliminated in the first round put a lot of pressure on the Dodgers going into the first season of the new decade. Not only have they failed to execute a championship with all the attempts made and opportunities given, they consistently had one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball. 

They led all of MLB in the most money spent on a team in four of the seven seasons in which they won the division (2014-2017). Their lowest spot in the payroll rankings from 2013-2019 was fourth in 2019, still while paying a hefty price of $207 million. 

In this span, the team has had multiple superstar players come and go. Matt Kemp, Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, and Hyun-Jin Ryu all showed their talents for the Dodgers but were either retired or with another team going into 2020. 

Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Clayton Kershaw are all solid players but are past their prime playing years. 

Having multiple talented players and no world championships left many Dodgers’ fans frustrated, and other fans of baseball skeptical of the team. 

LA’s front office knew the criticism they would be facing if they went another season without a World Series title, so they began to upgrade their superteam even more in the 2019-2020 offseason. 

They began by signing relief pitcher Blake Treinen to a one-year, $10 million contract. Although Treinen had troubles in 2019, posting a 4.91 ERA in 58 and two-thirds innings, he still added a solid arm to an already above average bullpen. 

At this point, it was not too long, since he was an elite closer for the Oakland Athletics, as in 2018, he had a 0.78 ERA in 80 and one-thirds innings, landing him a sixth place finish in the American League Cy Young voting. 

They also signed starting pitchers Jimmy Nelson and Alex Wood to one-year contracts, adding depth to their rotation.

The biggest offseason move the Dodgers made, and arguably the biggest blockbuster trade of the 2019-2020 offseason, was acquiring superstar outfielder Mookie Betts and veteran starting pitcher David Price from the Boston Red Sox. Betts adds a valuable piece in both parts of the field, being one of the best defensive and offensive players in all of MLB. According to MLB Networks ranking of its Top 100 players heading into the 2020 season, Betts was ranked fourth, behind only Mike Trout, Christian Yelich and his teammate Cody Bellinger. 

After the Dodgers upgraded their team, they began their 2020 campaign on July 23 against their rival, the San Francisco Giants. They won this first game of the season 8-1, thanks to a strong offensive performance from Kiké Hernandez, who drove in five runs on four hits with a home run. They finished off the end of the month with a 5-3 record.

In August, the Dodgers became an offensive force to be reckoned with, as they broke the National League record for most home runs by a team in a calendar month with 57. They broke the previous record of 56 set by the Atlanta Braves in 2019. Los Angeles wrapped up the month with a 21-7 record, making them 26-10 on the season.

In September, the Dodgers went 17-7, giving them a 43-17 record, which was the best in all of baseball. They dominated the competition in the regular season, as they only lost one series (Colorado Rockies) and never lost more than two games in a row. They clinched home-field advantage for the entire postseason, with hopes of finally ending the 32-year drought.

They began their 2020 postseason run in the Wild Card round against the 29-31 Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers swept the Brewers in the three-game series to advance to the Division Series, where they would face one of their division rivals, the San Diego Padres. They continued to roll on through, sweeping the Padres in the five-game series. They moved on to the National League Championship Series, eyeing up a possible third World Series appearance since 2017.

They faced the Braves in the bout to be one of the two teams participating in the world championship. The Braves gave the Dodgers their first loss of the 2020 postseason, winning game one. The Braves would win the second game as well, although it did not put too much pressure on LA. The Dodgers would win games three, five, six and seven to move on to face the Tampa Bay Rays for the title.

Playing in their third World Series in four years put tension on the Dodgers, as a possible 33rd year without a championship was looming in the distance. Los Angeles played their heart out against Tampa Bay, finally ending the 32-year streak while winning their seventh World Series in franchise history, putting them at fourth all-time among all 30 MLB teams. 

This past offseason, the Dodgers added another star-studded player to their squad, signing reigning NL Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer to a three-year contract. They are currently favored to win the championship again in 2021, as per Vegas Insider, where the Las Vegas betting odds has them at +400 or 4/1.