ESPN’s Buster Olney Ranks Dodgers Among Top-10 Teams

Adrian Gonzalez, 2014 NL West title
With less than a month until pitchers and catchers report, it’s the time of year that preseason predictions and rankings begin.

ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney has been doing so the past week, with the Los Angeles Dodgers making his rankings in a variety of categories. The Dodgers transformed their team this winter, from an offensive-minded approach to a balanced team with a more defensive approach.

Olney ranked his top teams in baseball and had the Dodgers ranked at number two:

2. Los Angeles Dodgers

Not only do the Dodgers have a strong rotation again, as well as greatly improved defense, roster functionality and — they believe — clubhouse culture; they also have the ability and the willingness to fix problems during the season, with their stacks of money and solid farm system. There might well be blips along the way, with the reconstruction of their bullpen around Kenley Jansen, with the development of new center fielder Joc Pederson, with the health of their rotation. But L.A. is in far better position than any of its division rivals to add during the summer, and this year, Andrew Friedman will have a real shot at being able to make in-season upgrades.

It will be up to the team to determine how the season ends up playing out, but the Dodgers are in position for their third straight NL West title and overcome the hump that is the postseason. It will be interesting to see how all the new players mesh together, and whether manager Don Mattingly will finally be able to pull it all together.

With a rotation consisting of Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, a lineup with Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Howie Kendrick, and an improved bullpen, the Dodgers will be looking to bring home their first World Series since 1988.


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