Preseason predictions and player projections have sort of become a ritual around baseball. In the days and weeks leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting, experts are already making their predictions on how each team will do in the following season. Actually, from the time the very last pitch was thrown in the World Series, I was already making my predictions for the Dodgers.
Here's the first mlb dot com power rankings. I contributed my votes. Come at me: https://t.co/kh83qEKM0J
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) March 25, 2019
The first MLB power rankings have arrived, and Dodgers fans might be happy with the way things are shaping up. As it stands, they have Los Angeles at number four in the rankings. The good news is that they are the best in the entire National League. Naturally, the Astros and Red Sox make up the first two in the rankings. The Yankees take the number three spot, and the Nationals sit at fifth to round out the top five.
The Dodgers, of course, face some uphill challenges. There are plenty of questions surrounding the health and productivity of players that could cause some concern. Clayton Kershaw is not yet healthy, Kanely Jansen’s velocity remains a concern, and Max Muncy’s spring has many nervously pacing the halls of Chavez Ravine. Rich Hill also looks like he could miss an extended period of time, and Walker Buehler got a very slow start to the season.
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Their depth will be tested, that much is certain. The Dodgers will have to bounce back and overcome last season’s VERY slow start. The team went 12-16 during the first month of the season, falling as much as nine games behind the Diamondbacks in the west. Their starting rotation got hit hard with the injury bug, but their depth is ultimately what got them through.
With young guys like Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, and Caleb Ferguson currently on the active roster, they shouldn’t have to worry too much. They also have guys waiting in the minor leagues, like Dustin May, Dennis Santana, and Brock Stewart. The amount of pitching they have across the organization is enough to survive almost any injury realistically.
The Dodgers also picked up a few big names that they did not have last year. Joe Kelly signed a free agent contract to help create a stronger bridge to Kenley Jansen, and he has pitched well so far. Over seven spring innings, he has allowed one earned run and struck out six. Don’t forget, the Dodgers also get Corey Seager back this year. He has already shown he’s ready for the season to start, hitting a homerun in his second at-bat back from Tommy John surgery.
This is a dangerous team, and the real threat comes from the depth within their organization. Putting them in the top five was the right call, and I think number three suites them well. If they can get off to a hot start, it’s only a matter of time before they are back at number one.
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