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Dodgers Offseason: ‘Absurdly Preliminary’ 2023 Projections Have LA First in NL West

The Dodgers have a lot of questions to answer this offseason. Who will play shortstop for Los Angeles next year? Who will play center field? Who will be in their starting rotation?

But even with all those questions, the Dodgers — as they stand right now — are projected to win the National League West again in 2023. Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs put out his first ZiPS projections, and while he acknowledges that the projections are extremely premature and “guaranteed to be awful,” L.A.’s ranking underscores the strength of their farm system and their ability to fill their holes on the big-league roster with internal options if they so choose.



Szymborski’s projections have the Dodgers with 91 wins, followed by the Padres (87), Giants (83), Diamondbacks (83), and Rockies (68).

The Dodgers have a lot of work to do this offseason, but they started off as an absurdly good team, leaving them at the top of the projected division. I doubt they’ll enter the season with Ryan Pepiot in the rotation.

For purposes of these projections, Pepiot is penciled in as L.A.’s fifth starter behind Julio Urias, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, and Dustin May. (I did confirm with Szymborski that these projections include Kershaw even though his contract hasn’t been officially announced yet.) The Dodgers are in the market for a starting pitcher, and replacing Pepiot with, say, Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander would presumably bump these projections up a bit. A starting shortstop and a starting center-fielder would also give the team another bump.

Starting with a baseline of 91 wins is pretty promising, though, and it highlights the fact that Los Angeles could go with somewhat of a youth movement if they choose and still have a very good chance to win the division.

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Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. He's been blogging about baseball and the Dodgers 2004 and doing it professionally since 2015. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.

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4 Comments

  1. Szymborski is full of it. As of now the Padres, with their rotation. Soto and the return of Tatis Jr. are the better team that will win the division. Unless Dodgers make a real effort to fill holes with quality players instead of relying on internal options only, this team will be a far cry from last year’s team.

    1. Agree with you, Paul 100%. FA lost are far more talented than internal options. Szymborski ? Never heard of him…must be a Dodger hater. Trying to build them up to later shoot them down when they falter. I’d rather have all these so called pundits predict the Dodgers to finish 3rd or lower. This way the team will have a chip on their shoulders and play with more of a purpose, than being so complacent and blasé.

  2. Making projections with no answers to the questions is foolish. San Diego with their current roster is a better team.

  3. The Padres look good on paper. But they have absolutely no farm system, having traded it all away for Soto and Hader. The Dodgers, who have many players in AAA who can be adequate major leaguers if called upon in 2023, likely will sign and/or trade for a starting pitcher, an outfielder, and maybe a shortstop. Zymborski predicted 93 wins for the Dodgers prior to the 2022 season — 18 wins too low. [No one saw Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson as being among the 10 best starters in the NL, but 100+ wins seemed likely by April 2022.] It is just too early to predict at this time.

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