In yet another offseason review/season preview piece, the Dodgers come out near the top.
Jonah Keri gave his MLB preseason power rankings on S.I., and he ranked Los Angeles the second best team in baseball, behind only the champion Chicago Cubs. He credited the Dodgers’ patience in the 2015 offseason as the route to this winter’s success. L.A. holding back from paying David Price or Zack Greinke allowed it to retain its entire crew in 2016.
“That fiscal restraint facilitated the Dodgers bringing back just about everyone from last year’s run to the NLCS. In addition to Hill, Kenley Jansen returns to slam the door on ninth-inning leads (and maybe some big eighth-inning spots, too). We’ll also see a lot more of reborn and much improved third baseman Justin Turner. Add underrated second baseman Logan Forsythe (who came over from the Rays in a deal for righty Jose De Leon) and Sergio Romo (a much needed setup man who can hopefully help address the team’s one chronic weakness), and a fifth straight NL West title looks likely.”
— SI MLB (@si_mlb) February 24, 2017
Unfortunately, second place isn’t bringing a title to the City of Champions, and finishing second behind the Cubs would be the same result as a year ago: Close, but no cigar. Fortunately, preseason rankings act as on-paper guidelines and little else.
More ESPN analysts picked the Diamondbacks to make the playoffs than the Dodgers in 2016. It’s important to remember why the games are actually played.