Yankees: 3 reasons 2021 could finally bring NYY-Dodgers World Series
By Adam Weinrib
“When are the Yankees and Dodgers going to play in the World Series?!” is officially the new, “The Yankees and Cubs are gonna dominate the World Series the next few years, y’all.”
Thus far, in their respective climbs toward dynastic levels, the Yanks of 2016-2020 have greatly outshone the Cubbies overall, though Chicago did capture that elusive World Series championship before taking coordinated steps back in each year that followed.
The Dodgers? Well, they’re certainly ahead of the roller coaster Yankees, making the Fall Classic three times and winning once — the only time they faced a non-tainted opponent, too.
Entering 2021, which will be a full 162-game season, the same two teams are ostensibly the favorites in both leagues as in 2020.
Last time, the Dodgers held up their end of the bargain, but the Rays heard a summer’s worth of talk about how they were “uniquely built” for a 60-game season and decided to agree with the chatter, usurping the Yanks en route to October.
They responded by trading their ace this offseason, then letting their most reliable postseason arm walk to the Atlanta Braves.
Bronx Bombers fans are hoping Tampa Bay’s “create-a-player” lucky streak finally runs out this year, but the departure of key arms from an AL East rival isn’t the only reason New York’s World Series hopes are alive this year.
The Dodgers remain the champions until anyone approaches dethroning them, so we’re pretty confident in stating they’ll come out of the NL this year once again. We see no reason why not.
Here are three reasons why the Yankees might be waiting for them on the other side.
3 reasons the Yankees-Dodgers World Series is within reach
3. The Yankees Finally Have (Electric) Pitching Depth
Are you a believer in Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake yet? What about the strategy of tossing nine viable rotation options at the wall?
OK, fine. It’s spring training. You don’t have to believe if you don’t want to.
But previous Yankees teams were ace-less. When Gerrit Cole arrived in 2020, they were still without a high-ceiling second banana in the rotation once Luis Severino went down. Masahiro Tanaka? Yeah, we love him, but only in certain October spurts was he ever a No. 1. JA Happ? Log off.
This time around, the Yankees enter 2021 with Severino rehabbing in the wings, and Jameson Taillon and Corey Kluber directly behind Cole, both of whom seem ready for Opening Day in mid-March. Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Deivi Garcia and even Michael King have also looked above-average thus far, and the numbers back it up.
That’s a lot of names! Add in the injured Clarke Schmidt, and you’ve got an overflowing staff for once.
No team has more pitching depth than the Dodgers, who see all this Yankees bragging and raise them three Cy Young winners, Walker Buehler, and five or six more kids who can spin it (Dustin May, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin…).
It’s easy to pencil the LAD into the Fall Classic on the strength of this overload of arms alone. But the Yankees have (gulps) a high-upside pile of pitchers that just keeps coming at you, too. This is the best depth they’ve boasted in the course of this modern run, and it could make the difference.