LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will be featured on MLB on TBS for the second consecutive Sunday with tomorrow's series finale against the Mets, and this weekend the game will be available in the Los Angeles market.
On Thursday I spoke with MLB on TBS play-by-play announcerto get his opinions about the Dodgers, current owners of a three-game lead in the National League West.
On the Dodgers' playoff chances:
"I don't see any dominant teams out there, especially in the National League. I would put the Dodgers in that group of best teams in the National League. I think they can and should win their division. I think they are a series World Series contender. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they won the World Series. They are that good. Their lineup is as good as anyone."
Anderson thinks the Dodgers should focus their trade deadline on relief pitching rather than starting:
"Their lineup is set. Their starting rotation is going to be good. They have four guys. Would it be great to have Cole Hamels? Yes it would. But all those games boil down to who's coming in in the sixth, seventh an eighth.
"They have all the resources to make a deal. If I was the Dodgers, I would try to bolster the bullpen. Getting to Jansen might be their Achilles heel. That's a blanket statement that applies to a lot of teams. But you saw what the Royals did. ... If I'm the Dodgers, I'm using every resource available to go get the best power closer-type pitchers that would be willing to set up for a championship."
Anderson, who broadcasts Milwaukee Brewers games when he's not on the call for TBS national games, brought up the 2011 NLCS between the Cardinals and Brewers. St. Louis saw it's starting pitchers put up a 7.03 ERA while averaging barely over four innings per start, yet won the series in six games thanks to a strong bullpen and a killer offense.
St. Louis that season acquired relievers Marc Rzepczynski and Octavio Dotel at the trade deadline, and both were solid and durable in the postseason, each appearing in 12 of the Cardinals' 18 games.
Anderson thinks the Dodgers should do something similar in the next week, helping to fortify the bridge to closer Kenley Jansen.
"I think Jansen is going to be awesome. He's starting to morph into Mariano Rivera even more every time I see him. He's a tough guy to hit. Talking to some of the Brewers hitters, they were really perplexed with him and how he throws, with all that movement on his cut fastball."
I shared some of Anderson's thoughts on Joc Pederson on Thursday, but Anderson also added more about the Dodgers center fielder, who is hitting .228/.356/.461 and leads the major leagues with 117 strikeouts.
"I don't care about the strikeouts as much. I know he's like to strike out less, and everyone would like to see him strike out less in the Dodgers camp, but he's a major threat hitting leadoff. Just a major power threat.
"He runs really hot. I don't know him personally, but just watching him the strikeouts are bugging him. I don't know if it's the failure of the at-bat that bugs him, or the accumulation of the strikeouts that are bugging him.
"My biggest caution flag is are the strikeouts going to eat him alive, because he seems like a perfectionist as a hitter. There are guys who crumble under that when they strikeout too much, then you try not to and change your game."
Justin Turner doubled twice and homered on Friday, and is 16-for-31 (.516) in his last eight games. Since getting non-tendered by the Mets after the 2013 season, Turner has blossomed into one of the most productive hitters in baseball, and this year claimed the third base job as well.
"I think the playing time, the confidence. It was a huge move I thought trading Uribe because it allows Justin Turner psychologically to get that feeling from his club that 'You're our guy.' He didn't have to look over his shoulder anymore. He's had to look over his shoulder his whole career. He's survived. ... Now he has a chance to feel like a 10-day slump won't take him out of the lineup.
"The way he stands on top of the plate, he's got a lot of confidence. And he has a quick bat, and is a tough guy to pitch to."
Anderson was also high on first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
"He's a guy who's going to torch it if they get to the postseason."
Brian, alongside analyst Ron Darling, will be on the call of this Sunday’s MLB on TBS telecast between the Dodgers and Mets at 10 a.m. PT. The game will be seen locally in the Los Angeles market.