We’re already a month and a half into the regular season, and both coasts are playing great baseball.
The New York Mets and New York Yankees reign supreme on the east coast, while the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels sit atop on the west coast.
If all four teams continue this success, the NLCS could feature the Dodgers and Mets, and the ALCS could feature the Angels and Yankees.
While we’ve seen a Subway World Series before and even a Chicago World Series, the Dodgers, and Angels have never met in the World Series. Could this be the first year we have the ultimate battle for Los Angeles?
A Los Angeles World Series in 2022: Reality or Fantasy?
Los Angeles Has Seen Plenty of Success
Sports teams of Los Angeles have been very successful and have overall been a desirable place to play for athletes across the four major sports. Since 2010, a Los Angeles team has won their respective championship at least once (Dodgers, Rams, Lakers, and Kings). As a result, Los Angeles fans have been spoiled with a good number of parades, to say the least.
The Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958 from Brooklyn and haven’t looked back since. They have gone to the World Series 12 times, winning it six times. Three of those 12 World Series appearances have happened in the last five years, with them winning in 2020 over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers have also made the playoffs 26 times. They are currently on a nine-year playoff streak and are looking to extend it to 10.
Players on the Dodgers have seen individual success, as well. Players have brought in six MVPs, 11 Cy Youngs, 14 Rookie of the Years, and four Triple Crowns. In addition, managers have won the Manager of the Year award three times.
On the other hand, the Angels have not had similar success since becoming a franchise in 1961. Originally the Los Angeles Angels, they have also been known as the California Angels, Anaheim Angels, and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They are now back around to the Los Angeles Angels. The organization has only made the playoffs 10 times, just winning four postseason series, including three on their way to their only World Series victory in 2002.
Though the organization has seen little success, especially in recent memory, Angels players have seen their own success. Players have won the MVP award six times, the Cy Young award twice, the Rookie of the Year award three times, and the Manager of the Year award twice.
Could It Actually Happen This Year?
Los Angeles Angels
Both the Dodgers and Angels sit atop their respective divisions – the Dodgers with a 20-10 record and the Angels with a 21-12 record. It’s no shock the Dodgers are at the top of the National League, but the Angels leading the American League? That’s a bit of a surprise.
Every year, the Angels are predicted to make some noise in the AL. Maybe not make the World Series or win the AL West, but at the very least make the playoffs. However, they have failed to deliver each year, not making the playoffs since 2014, which was also the last time they won the division. That was also the only time the Angels made the playoffs in Mike Trout’s tenure.
That all looks to change this year, as the Angels are playing like one of the best teams in baseball. Behind the bats of Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Taylor Ward, and Jared Walsh, the Angels lead the MLB in multiple batting categories, including home runs and OPS (On-base Plus Slugging). On the mound, the Angels have a strong rotation led by Ohtani and Noah Syndergaard.
Los Angeles Dodgers
On the other side, this type of success was expected from the Dodgers. They’ve made the postseason in nine straight years, including three World Series appearances and one World Series win in 2020. This is in part to the loaded roster the team has built.
The Dodgers have had luck on the free agency/trade market, acquiring stars like Freddie Freeman, Trea Turner, and Mookie Betts while seeing value in players not many saw value in, such as Justin Turner and Chris Taylor. The team also has built-up superstars from their farm system, with the bats of Cody Bellinger, Will Smith, and Gavin Lux, and the arms of Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Julio Urias.
The strong roster the Dodgers have built has made sure this team is top five in multiple categories, such as runs, walks, and on-base percentage, while also leading the MLB in runs scored per game and runs allowed per game.
With how things are playing out in the division, the Angels’ only worry is the Houston Astros, which they’ve most recently beaten twice. Outside of them, the only other worry in the American League is the teams from the AL East, mainly the New York Yankees. However, this Angels team seems more sustainable to maintain this good start than any other team in the AL.
The Dodgers in the National League have a much more challenging road ahead. The NL West is only separated by 4.5 games, as it’s the only division in baseball in which every team has a winning record. However, once they get past the division, the Dodgers will have to worry about the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets, who each sit at 20+ wins.
Both Los Angeles teams have a good shot at meeting in the World Series. They both have great hitters, a strong rotation, and a good bullpen. The World Series will be nothing new for the Dodgers, as they have the playoff experience to get there.
What the Angels lack in experience, they make up for in their desire to turn the organization around.