We inspect the National League West in this edition of MLB handicapping, and decipher sportsbooks projections for win totals against the betting odds for the Dodgers' upcoming campaign.
Los Angeles – Projected Win Total 92 wins – 1st in the NL West
Because we will be seeing the Dodgers again this week when perusing the MLB odds, we will focus today on their hitting and fielding and cover the pitching in a follow up article.
On this day, we happened to catch what manager Don Mattingly’s lineup card might look like to start the season & that inspired how we might want to approach MLB picks for this team. The top of the order featured Jimmy Rollins, Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez. Rollins is a classic leadoff man and while he might no longer be in his prime, his skill has not diminished to where he will not be asset. Puig has enjoyed a quiet spring and will likely bat anywhere from second to fourth and is now set to be the Dodgers main right-handed batting run producer. Could not help but notice how Puig was interacting between innings talking to new teammates like Rollins and Howie Kendrick, who offer a different type of professionalism than those that departed in the off-season. Gonzalez is likely a fixture in the three-hole and will bat cleanup in different games.
Former Angel Kendrick batted fourth but that is not his spot, but the always dependable second baseman will mostly likely fit into the second, fifth or six spot depending on what Mattingly needs on offense and deliver more often than not.
Carl Crawford was in left on this mostly sunny day and he’s lost weight and hit the ball deep into right-center and flashed the speed he was known for in Tampa Bay and buzzed around the bases for an easy triple.
Juan Uribe is not having a great spring but nobody is worried about the dependable third-sacker. Catching will be handled by Yasmani Grandal and A.J. Ellis, with Joc Pederson in centerfield. Pederson has a good looking swing, but it was obvious he’s still a work in progress on off-speed breaking pitches and he saw them in all three at-bats when behind in the count.
It is safe to say the Dodgers probably will not finish sixth in runs scored this season. There is not the same power in the batting order to sustain such a number. However, the defense will be significantly better in the infield and most likely the outfield which will benefit the pitching staff.
Game Notes –Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Brett Anderson does not throw as hard, at least to this point as he did in Oakland, but Mattingly had to love how quickly and effectively the left- hander worked his six scoreless innings, surrendering just four hits. With an emphasis on defense, Anderson would seem to be a perfect fit as a back of the rotation starter for the Dodgers. L.A. turned four double plays on the day.
The Dodgers tallied three of their four runs in the first four innings against Arizona youngster Yoan Lopez in rout to 4-2 victory. There was nothing exciting about how the Dodgers scored except for Crawford’s triple, just a workman-like effort.