The Los Angeles Dodgers have transitioned from being nearly bankrupt to being one of the biggest spenders in the major leagues over the past couple of seasons. Who said money can’t buy happiness? The Dodgers added another National League West title to their resume with 91 wins a year ago and they did so while enduring a slew of injuries. Stud Clayton Kershaw only made 21 starts while the Dodgers used a patchwork lineup to still win the National League West. While they ultimately fell short of reaching their World Series title goal they are once again primed to contend once again in 2017.
Key Additions: RP Sergio Romo, 2B Logan Forsythe, OF Brett Eibner, RP Vidal Nuno, OF Darnell Sweeney, 1B Darin Ruf
Key Losses: SP Brett Anderson, RP Joe Blanton, RP Jesse Chavez, 2B Chase Utley, OF Josh Reddick, C Carlos Ruiz, 2B Howie Kendrick, RP J.P. Howell, RP Jose De Leon
The Dodgers are one of the deepest teams in the majors with a solid starting rotation, bullpen and offense heading in 2017. Clayton Kershaw has been one of the best pitchers in the game for a couple of years now and the depth behind him is solid with Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias and Scott Kazmir. Meanwhile, Los Angeles lost a couple of pieces in its bullpen but Kenley Jansen returns in the closer role while a couple of key offseason additions should make up for their losses. The Dodgers offense is loaded with Corey Seager, Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Justin Turner and the potential is there for it to be even better if some of the depth pieces can step up. Los Angeles is one of the most complete teams in the majors and as long as they stay healthy they should be strong in pretty much every aspect of their game.
The Dodgers don’t have many weaknesses on paper even though they traded a talented veteran second basemen in Howie Kendrick and lost Joe Blanton in the bullpen. Blanton and J.P. Howell were excellent for Los Angeles last season but they did bring in Sergio Romo from the rival San Francisco Giants and Vidal Nuno to help fill the void. While it isn’t a weakness, the Dodgers also need more out of Yasiel Puig, who has the potential to be so much better than he was a year ago when he bounced around in the majors and the minors. Puig has never been able to reach his incredible potential but baseball fans in LA are hoping this is the year he finally figures it out.
2017 Los Angeles Dodgers Depth Chart
|Catcher||Yasmani Grandal||Austin Barnes||Kyle Farmer|
|First Base||Adrian Gonzalez||Scott Van Slyke||Chase Utley||Rob Segedin|
|Second Base||Logan Forsythe||Chase Utley||Enrique Hernandez|
|Third Base||Justin Turner||Rob Segedin|
|Shortstop||Corey Seager||Chris Taylor|
|Left Field||Andrew Toles||Andre Ethier||Scott Van Slyke||Trayce Thompson|
|Center Field||Joc Pederson||Trayce Thompson||Enrique Hernandez||Andrew Toles|
|Right Field||Yasiel Puig||Andre Ethier||Trayce Thompson||Franklin Gutierrez|
|Starting Pitcher||Clayton Kershaw||Rich Hill||Kenta Maeda||Julio Urias||Scott Kazmir|
|Relief Pitcher||Sergio Romo||Pedro Baez||Adam Liberatore||Josh Fields||Grant Dayton|
Projected Win Total: 93.5
World Series Odds: +1200
The Dodgers have enough talent to win 100 games in 2017 but that would require them avoiding the types of injuries that could put a cap on their overall potential last season. The real challenge will be staying healthy and peaking when it matters the most as Los Angeles attempts to reach the World Series. The Dodgers have invested a lot of money in a roster that is definitely capable of repeating as NL West champions but the bar has been set a little higher for this year and it will be interesting to see if this team can make it to the top. Look for them to win in the neighborhood of 90-100 games while proving that they are still in fact one of the top contenders for a World Series in 2017.
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