Our long, weird Dodgers offseason is nearly over, with spring training kicking off in the next week or so. It’s hard to say exactly when, because there’s the pitchers and catchers date like always, but there’s an earlier date for players participating in the World Baseball Classic, and some people don’t consider it real until games actually start in a couple weeks. But one way or another, the offseason will end, and it will have been weird.
Los Angeles didn’t play in the deep end of the free-agency pool, instead hanging out in the shallow end and picking off a Noah Syndergaard or Shelby Miller here and a JD Martinez or David Peralta there. But between the few additions they made, which seem like smart moves, and the young players ready to make their mark, LA is projected to be neck-and-neck with the Padres in the National League West.
We asked Dodger fans to predict how many games the team will win this season, and the answers have been all over the board. There’s still time to get your vote in if you haven’t yet, but at the time of this writing, just over 3,000 fans have voted.
As of now, about two-thirds of fans believe the teams will win 91-99 games, with the percentages pretty evenly split between 91-94 and 95-99. The pessimists and the ultra-optimists are pretty evenly split, too, with equal numbers expecting fewer than 91 wins and 100 or more wins.
The Dodgers won 111 games last year, but they lost Justin Turner, Trea Turner, Tyler Anderson, Andrew Heaney, Tommy Kahnle, and Chris Martin in free agency this winter. On the other hand, they also lost Cody Bellinger and Craig Kimbrel, so that kind of makes up for the good players they lost. Still, even if LA were returning every player from last year’s team, it would be crazy to expect another 111-win season. There was bound to be a drop-off, and the main question is how much.
Los Angeles still has a very talented team, spearheaded by Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and Will Smith. Max Muncy hopes to have a fully healthy, productive season, and Chris Taylor looks to bounce back from his worst season in LA. The additions of Martinez and Peralta certainly help the lineup, and if Gavin Lux can hit the way he did in 2022 before his neck injury, things are looking very nice. Miguel Vargas will play regularly and should hit in the big leagues, and James Outman will likely get quite a few at-bats in the outfield.
On the pitching side, the Dodgers are replacing Anderson and Heaney with Syndergaard and Dustin May, which has potential to swing in 2023’s favor.
Overall, it’s not hard at all to see this team winning 100-105 games this year. Somewhere in the 90s is probably more likely, just because somewhere in the 90s is always more likely than somewhere in the 100s. But the Dodgers have a good team.
Pretty soon, we’ll get to see that team on the field. Until then, we’ll wait impatiently.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube Channel yet? Please subscribe and hit that notification bell to stay up to date on all the latest Dodgers news, rumors, interviews, live streams, and more all year long!