Buster Olney recently said take the under on the Dodgers’ 94.5 wins. Keith Law echoed that sentiment.
In a Monday appearance on Olney’s podcast, he asked Law the same over/under questions. Law responded by saying it takes a lot of luck to win in the upper-90s, so for the Dodgers and Cubs (95.5), he’s going under.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 27, 2017
“I’d have more concerns about them,” Law said in comparing the Dodgers to the Cubs. “With the Cubs, I’m speaking generally; something’s going to go wrong, but I can’t tell you what specifically. The Dodgers probably don’t have the kind of pitching depth that I would want for them to have to pick them to win 95-plus, and they only won 91 last year … What is there that makes me say they’re going to win at least four more games than they did last year? I’m not sure I see enough across that roster to feel confident in predicting them to win 95-plus.”
Olney mentioned his own logic, saying he’ll take L.A. to win the West, but the increased difficulty of the division leads him to believe the team falls shy of 95 wins. Law concurred.
The comment about pitching depth is intriguing, but Law didn’t elaborate. The Dodgers have arguably the best overall depth in baseball. A large reason why is the immense pitching options available. Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill are aces. Julio Urias is among the best young pitchers in the game. Kenta Maeda is an above-average middle man. Ross Stripling, Alex Wood, Scott Kazmir, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brock Stewart, Trevor Oaks and Brandon McCarthy are among the No. 5/spot starter pieces the team can use as it pleases. All have their good and bad, and perhaps Law isn’t impressed by the stock of arms.
Both Olney and Law taking the under doesn’t signal reservations about the roster (though Law indicated such more than Olney). A 94-win season would be considered an enormous success. It likely wins the West handily while potentially setting the team up for homefield throughout the playoffs. It would qualify as the under. Vegas odds are fun to look at, but they don’t determine the landscape of the league.