We must be painfully close to the season starting simply because all these rankings, power rankings, and projections are all just rolling in now. In today’s ESPN final rankings, the Los Angeles Dodgers made the list of the top six teams in baseball entering the season. But they weren’t in the top five.
As you can deduce, the Dodgers were placed six on the list. The teams above them were the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays. It’s a quite different top five, outside of the Cubs and Mets, than we’ve seen lately.
This won’t be a transition year under new manager Dave Roberts. The Dodgers will be expected to win the division. The loss of Greinke obviously hurt, but I think that depth wins out and the Dodgers edge the Giants for the NL West title.
Schoenfield has the Dodgers finishing with a 91-71 record which is just one win off of what they had last season. Over the last three seasons, the team has averaged 92.67 wins so this would put them in right in line for a similar season as the last three. Then again, it could be seen as more impressive.
After all, with the loss of Zack Greinke to a division rival, the Dodgers managing to still top 90 wins could be seen as a huge deal. They have the depth to obviously do it, but they wouldn’t have the top one-two pitching punch in baseball anymore. That’d lend itself to a far more impressive resumé.
As noted many times on here, the Dodgers do have a lot of questions surrounding them as the season begins. Namely, their offense and bullpen will need to answer some of those questions early on. The team is poised for a fourth straight division title, and they’ll need all hands on deck to do it.