Fantastic baseball writer Jonah Keri has released his power rankings through the first week of the baseball season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers were fourth on his list. The only three teams above them were, in order, the Chicago Cubs, Kansas City Royals, and San Francisco Giants. Not a bad group to be with. The Pittsburgh Pirates were fifth.
Essentially, Keri goes on to talk about the great pitching performances the Dodgers have gotten through the first week of the season, obviously outside of Sunday afternoon’s game that Scott Kazmir feels pretty darn terrible about. But Keri loves what the Dodgers have gotten out of their starters so far, especially the middle to back end of the rotation.
The more relevant question is whether Stripling can build on his impressive beginning. Lacking Maeda’s pre-MLB resume of success, that’s likely a long shot. Still, if L.A. can nab even decent results every fifth day, that could be enough to stem the tide until the team’s DL brigade gets healthy enough to return.
Even despite Kazmir’s bad start, the Dodgers are 7th in ERA (2.91) to start the season. Clayton Kershaw has been great, Kenta Maeda’s first start was tremendous, Alex Wood had his ups and downs in his only start, Kazmir had a great and bad start, and Ross Stripling supplied something unexpected.
As Keri notes, if the Dodgers can get “even decent results” out of the back end of their rotation, then they could be situated to make a run at a fantastic season, and one that could ultimately see them winning the National League West for the fourth straight season. They just need to get healthy and continue getting solid performances.