This MLB handicapper shares his forecast for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015, basing it off the MLB odds projection for the season total wins and division title.
Los Angeles – Projected Win Total 92 wins – 1st in the NL West
When talking about pitching and the Dodgers, that first name which has to be brought up is Clayton Kershaw. Except when facing St. Louis, the lefthander is the best in baseball and aside from an injury, he should continue to be known as such until somebody else comes along in four or five years.
Also important to keep in mind when making your MLB Picks is Zack Greinke, who has been an ace on other teams but has comfortably set in as the No. 2 for Don Mattingly. No. 3 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the season on the DL having the same left shoulder issues as a year ago, which has to be a concern. This moves up newly-acquired Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson and Mattingly will have to determine a fifth starter. The skipper does not need to make a permanent decision because the way the schedule plays out, only twice before the last week of April will he need a fifth starter.
Presently the Los Angeles bullpen is a mess with closer Kenley Jansen not available until May from foot surgery and Brandon League out several months with inflamed shoulder. The Dodgers still have options it’s a matter of finding the right guys for the right jobs.
Having brought in relievers Chris Hatcher, Juan Nicasio, Joel Peralta and Adam Liberatore, you see a new direction for the Dodgers under Andrew Friedman’s leadership, coming over from Tampa Bay, wanting pitchers who throw strikes and not known for walking batters. If these pitchers do their jobs, the bullpen could take care of itself.
The Dodgers enter the season a different group from a year ago, with questions about the bullpen and less offense, but will have 19 games each with Colorado and Arizona, which could help them reach 92 wins this season. Against these MLB Odds, I would probably pass, but expect them to win the NL West.
Game Notes – Dodgers vs. White Sox
Runs were few in Glendale, Az. with Chicago winning 2-1. The White Sox have another star lefty in the making in Carlos Rodon, who worked into the sixth inning allowing four hits, one run and walking and striking out two each. Besides a good fastball, Rodon showed excellent breaking pitches and was skillful in changing speeds to keep Dodgers hitters off balance.
First baseman Abreu continued his torrid spring, going 4 for 4 and is batting over .500. The Dodgers attempted to be aggressive on the base paths but catcher Soto gunned down four base-runners in four tries.
Jon Wieland is attempting to be the Dodgers fifth starter, but gave up nine hits in five innings (two runs) and was forced to mostly pitch out of the stretch.
Andre Either was hit by a pitch on this right elbow and was in a lot pain and taken out of the game. His replacement Chris Heisey accounted for the lone L.A. run by going deep.