Dodgers Again Heavy NL Favorites, But Can They Reach Win Total?

Monday, February 18, 2019 7:03 PM UTC

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019 7:03 PM UTC

The Dodgers are pretty heavy favorites to win the NL for a crazy third time in a row. But after consecutive World Series losses, will L.A. rebound and get over their season win total?

<h2 style="text-align:center;">Los Angeles Dodgers' World Series Odds: +800 (<a href=";book=BetOnline" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">BetOnline</a>)</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">National League Pennant Odds: +400</h2><h2 style="text-align:center;">Season Win Total: 94.5</h2><p> </p><h2>What Can Pollock Do For L.A.?</h2><p>The acquisition of A.J. Pollock this offseason should be a huge one for the Los Angeles Dodgers. L.A. locked him up for five years and $60 million, with some incentives on the back end, and a base salary of only $1 million in 2019. That may seem like a lot for an oft-injured player who has been worse than Yasiel Puig, whom they traded away this offseason. However, it may be a high-upside move that pays off.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;AJ Pollock has already passed physical onhis Dodger deal. Slated to earn $55m in first 4 years, but could earn opt-out after Year 3 if he reaches set no. of PA. 5th year player option for $10m, w/ $5m buyout&lt;/p&gt;— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;January 24, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>L.A. obviously doesn’t care much about money, but it’s a reasonable deal that gives them some salary flexibility to go after some guys late in free agency or at the trade deadline.</p><p>Pollock’s glove is also a huge upgrade for this team. Last year the Dodgers basically platooned center field, with Kike Hernandez, Chris Taylor, Joc Pederson, and Alex Verdugo all getting time patrolling the spot. Now with Pollock as their everyday center fielder, Taylor can go back to playing at second base every day, Pederson can stay in left field, while Hernandez and Verdugo can back up all three outfield spots. <a href="" title="Free MLB Picks">This should bring in more consistency</a> in their fielding with not as much moving around to play other parts of the field. Hernandez can also play second base, so he should be one of the primary backups once again.</p><p>The Dodgers were pretty far down the list in fielding percentage in 2018, ranking 26th in the majors. I’m expecting the acquisition of Pollock to help that tremendously.</p><p>As a hit tool, Pollock will almost surely lead off and bring a lot of great skills to this team. The biggest is probably that he is an every day right-handed bat, something the Dodgers have been quite short on. He has not shown a lot of consistency, but his upside is very real. He could be a high average and high on base percentage guy eventually, or he may just be a solid starter that improved this team’s depth.</p><p>Either way, if he stays healthy and puts together a big year that gets the Dodgers a World Series win, I think fans in L.A. will be asking, “Yasiel, who?”</p><p> </p><h2>Season Win Total Outlook</h2><p>After 104 wins in 2017, the banged-up Dodgers came away with 92 wins in 2018 in their return to the World Series for the second season in a row.</p><p>With that in mind and considering the hopefully healthy roster they will be bringing in to 2019, the <a href="" title="SBR's Best Books">sportsbooks</a> have put their season win total at 94.5, which is definitely on the lower side for the power of their team.</p><p>The problem for the Dodgers is their division, and the National League is brutal this season. If the Padres land Manny Machado it will be even tougher for L.A., having to play him two dozen times in a year. The West isn’t a great division, but outside of it there are some teams that will win between 80 and 90 games this season. The Dodgers will still have plenty of series against teams in the East and Central divisions in the NL, and if Bryce Harper indeed goes to Philly, that makes those series much-watch TV.</p><p>In the end, I’m a little worried about the Dodgers’ health after last season and I think a team like Arizona or San Diego <a href="" title="Live MLB Odds Board">could go undervalued</a> this season. That being said, I see the Dodgers in the low 90s in wins, but not 95 or more.</p><p><strong>Season Win Total Pick: </strong>"Under" 94.5</p>
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