Tue 17/03/2015 - 04:47 EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 Season Preview

Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 Season Preview
How much money will the Dodgers spend in their quest to return to the World Series for first time since 1988? Well, that figure keeps growing and growing. After another spending spree, Los Angeles enters 2015 as the NL West's most intimidating operation.

Los Angeles Dodgers Futures

Odds To Win Division: -200

Odds To Win NL Pennant: 9/2

Odds To Win World Series: 17/2

Regular Season Win Total: 92.5

Most Significant Offseason Changes

Biggest Additions:

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Howie Kendrick, 2B

Yasmani Grandal, C

Brandon McCarthy, SP

Brett Anderson, SP

Biggest Subtractions:

Matt Kemp, OF

Hanley Ramirez, SS

Dee Gordon, 2B

Josh Beckett, SP

Dan Haren, SP

Brian Wilson, RP

They’ll Be Successful If…

… this latest makeover can get them over the hump. After another NL West title, the Dodgers have made some serious moves designed finally get the club back in the World Series for the first time since 1988. The brass in Los Angeles nabbed Andrew Friedman from Tampa to serve as the new president of baseball operations. On the field, the club boasts a wealth of new additions. Longtime Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins is the newly installed leadoff man, Angels vet Howie Kendrick arrives to patrol second base and the switch-hitting Yasmani Grandal signals an upgrade behind the plate. Chavez Ravine will also see new talent at the bottom of the rotation with the arrival of Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson. Los Angeles will once again have one of the most intimidating 1-2 punches at the top of the rotation. Clayton Kershaw is coming off a Cy Young winning season that featured 239 strikeouts, a 1.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and (most importantly of all) a dazzling 21-3 record. Did we mention that he’s still in his mid 20s? Zach Greinke boasts ace quality stuff (just look at 2014′s 17-8 record and 2.71 ERA) in the #2 spot and Hyun Jin-Ryu is no slouch as starter number three. The pitching is helped out immensely by having the ridiculously talented Yasiel Piug deliver MVP quality work, plus the offense makes the most of their opportunities at the plate. The Dodgers topped the Majors in 2014 with a .333 on-base percentage and hit for an MLB bronze .265 batting average. The arrival of the perennial 20+ stolen bases provided by Rollins merit a reminder that the Dodgers also topped the National League in swiped bags last year. There’s a reason they won those consecutive NL West titles, y’know.

They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…

… Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke are the only true pitching high points. The bottom of the rotation could be the undoing of the Dodgers. Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson have been brought in to serve as the club’s fourth and fifth starters and they’re mostly serviceable provided they can stay away from the DL. The six foot seven McCarthy has shoulder problems as part of his package and he posted a cringeworthy 5.01 ERA during his 2014 NL West stint with the Diamondbacks. Anderson arrives from Colorado with a resumé full of medical issues and his last season with more than 13 starts was 2010. If one of these arms exits the lineup, the Dodgers are hurting for a solution to fix that hole. It’s also fair to point out that this franchise might experience some changes in their chemistry with so much turnover. Dodgers fans better hope this updated roster gels quick in an NL West that features the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants and the rising San Diego Padres.

Fantasy Bargain: Joc Pederson, CF

It’s hard not to be bullish on Joc Pederson. This 23-year-old talent is reason why Dodgers hero Matt Kemp is no longer employed by the franchise. Pederson captured the Pacific League MVP trophy in 2014 by becoming only the fourth player in the league’s 112 year history to rack up at least 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a season. He joins a loaded Dodgers squad with a reputation for putting players on base and he’s got the skills to touch home with regularity. A 20 homer/20 stolen base rookie campaign looks like a reasonable target for the club’s centerfielder of the future.

Outlook

Once again, the Dodgers look poised to finish first in the National League West. They’ve got Kershaw and Greinke dominating on the mound, tweaks to the lineup and a hunger to escape postseason purgatory. Closing out the regular season at the top of the standings appears likely, but that’s never been the issue for Los Angeles. It’s life after 162 games that’ll bring them struggle. 

Prediction: 1st In NL West

Category : Archives

Tag : baseball , betting , Dodgers , Los Angeles Dodgers 2015 Season Preview

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