The Los Angeles Dodgers (71-31) have the best record in baseball, a commanding 12.5-game lead in the NL West, and are closing in on their fifth straight postseason appearance.
Here’s where the “Yeah, but” comes in.
“That’s all great, (but) it’s regular-season stuff,” ESPN MLB analyst Chris Singleton said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “When you’re a team like the Dodgers, when you’re a team like the Nationals, yeah, you want to win and be successful during the regular season because that’s how you get to the postseason. But the standard for those organizations has been raised so high that ultimately it’s World Series appearance or bust.”
The Dodgers haven’t reached the World Series since 1988, while the Nationals (60-39) haven’t reached the World Series since, well, ever. In fact, they haven’t advanced past the NLDS since relocating from Montreal to Washington in 2005.
“The Dodgers have been to the championship series,” Singleton said. “They’ve been at the doorstep, but they haven’t gotten there. Yeah, this is fun right now, but it’s got to happen for their fan base. If this is going to really be a year to celebrate and enjoy this team, it can’t just be into the division series or maybe fall short in the championship series. It’s the same with the Washington Nationals.”
The Nationals, like the Dodgers, have a 12.5-game lead in their division. Miami (46-53) is all but out of the race but could unload Giancarlo Stanton before the trade deadline.
“If I were the Marlins, I would probably trade him,” Singleton said. “I think I would. I think you could distribute that money and you could do some things. You’re not going to get a whole lot back if the other team is absorbing the contract, the money. But you could sort of re-tool a little bit.”