Oddsmakers Not Totally Bailing on Disappointing Dodgers Yet

SBR Staff

Thursday, May 3, 2018 9:42 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 3, 2018 9:42 PM UTC

Just about nothing has gone right for the Los Angeles Dodgers yet this season, but sportsbooks haven’t given up on them quite yet.

The Los Angeles Dodgers of course lost Game 7 of the 2017 World Series at home – damn you Yu Darvish!! -- to the Houston Astros. While the Astros added a stud young pitcher in Gerrit Cole this offseason, L.A. was pretty quiet because the front office wanted to get under the luxury tax. The Dodgers didn’t really add any one of note nor lose anyone one that important unless you include Darvish, who imploded in his two World Series starts. He’s currently imploding with the Chicago Cubs.

When the season began, the Dodgers were still either co-favorites or barely behind the Astros on the 2018 World Series odds and L.A. was a clear favorite to repeat as the NL pennant winner as well as win a sixth straight NL West title. While this season has been nothing short of a disaster for the Dodgers thus far, they are still +650 third-favorites on the Intertops MLB futures to win the National League again to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1988.

The Dodgers haven’t had All-Star third baseman Justin Turner, arguably the heart-and-soul of the team, this season. In spring training, he suffered a small non-displaced fracture of his left wrist suffered when struck by a pitch from Oakland's Kendall Graveman. Turner could debut by the middle of May.

Clayton Kershaw has not pitched like his three-time Cy Young winning self. L.A. has lost his past three outings, including as a -400 Intertops favorite on April 25 against the Miami Marlins. Now he's on the DL too. Closer Kenley Jansen, virtually unhittable last year, has an ERA north of 5.00 with two blown saves. The All-Star blew just one in 2017 with a 1.32 ERA and .075 WHIP.

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.@coreyseager_5 shares his initial thoughts about missing the remainder of the 2018 #Dodgers season with @alannarizzo. pic.twitter.com/6CxXmoFCsf

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) April 30, 2018
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Things only got worse this past week. On Monday, the team shocked everyone by announcing that its best all-around hitter, shortstop and 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager, was to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Yep, non-pitchers have that too. Since debuting in 2016, Seager had a WAR of 12 that was the best on the Dodgers and fourth-best among all MLB shortstops. The team had a .604 winning percentage when he was in the lineup (averaging 4.7 runs per game) and .488 without (4.1 runs per game).

Then on Thursday, the team ruled out Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had been the team’s best starting pitcher in 2018 (yep, more consistent than Kershaw), was out until after the All-Star break with a “dramatic” groin injury suffered on Wednesday in Arizona. Ryu tore the muscle clear off the bone. You don’t wish that on your worst enemy. Ryu is 3-0 with a 2.12 ERA this season.

So is it time to waive the white flag on the season? As of this writing, Los Angeles is eight games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West and much closer to the last-place San Diego Padres. Intertops currently lists Arizona at -200 to win the West for first time since 2011 with L.A. at +225.

It’s probably not wise to count the Dodgers out. They have one of the best front offices in baseball, not to mention money to burn – if they are willing to go back over the luxury tax. Turner is soon to return, top pitching prospect Walker Buehler will take Ryu’s spot and L.A. could send some prospects to Baltimore for the Orioles’ star shortstop Manny Machado.

Early May is too early to panic, although hopefully you took ‘under’ the Dodgers’ 96.5-win total at Intertops back in the spring.

Check out Intertops, which offers up to a $1,000 sign-up offer
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