Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a second-consecutive 90-plus win season and NL West title, the Los Angeles Dodgers head into 2015 with expectations of improving on their latest postseason failures. The defense has been steadily improved on paper with the additions of Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins, and the expectation of Joc Pederson taking over in center field.

How the changes will translate to the field for the Dodgers remains to be seen, though Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections have them winning 97 games next season and running away with the NL West title:

Dodgers PECOTA

Should the Dodgers surpass the 90-win mark for a third-straight season, it would be just the third time in the franchise’s history — one of the stretches was a run of six years in which the Brooklyn Dodgers won a minimum of 92 games.

Along with being predicted to win the NL West, PECOTA projects the Dodgers will pace MLB in wins, ahead of second-highest Washington Nationals (92 wins). Last season, the Dodgers finished two games behind the Nationals for the best record in the NL after coming from behind in the standings to overtake the San Francisco Giants.

Despite the general consensus being the Dodgers have improved their roster, Zack Greinke wasn’t quick to admit as much. What will be key for the Dodgers is how the backend of their rotation holds up, and if the bullpen is improved.

Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson are capable No. 4 and 5 starters, though whether they can remain healthy is a question mark. While Haren had his share of struggles as the fourth starter last season, he got off to a strong start and managed to win 13 games with 186.0 innings pitched.

Chris Hatcher, Sergio Santos or Joel Peralta could be the answer to the Dodgers’ search for late-inning help, but that’s far from set in stone. No matter some of the uncertainty, Los Angeles is expecting its first World Series in 27 years.

About The Author

Matt is a journalist from Whittier, California. A Cal State Long Beach graduate, Matthew occasionally contributes to Lakers Nation, and previously served as the lead editor and digital strategist at Dodgers Nation, and the co-editor and lead writer at Reign of Troy, where he covered USC Football. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mmoreno1015

4 Responses

  1. Just sayin'

    I don’t really care what the number is as long as we have a bullpen this season in the playoffs that we can count on. Being afraid to bring in a reliever and having to push our starters more that they should be is/was our down fall…

    Reply
    • Tmax

      !00% agree with you. Hoping for a young arm or two out of the minors to help the guys they traded for. I have been reading about the Minor League guys and hope one or two of them make an impact.

      Reply
  2. Russell Brewer

    The Dodgers have never in their history since 1883 or 1890 had three consecutive playoff appearances in a row. Let’s do this together. Believe! We Love LA! Live Breathe Blue!

    Reply
  3. Michael N. Norris

    I have been a Dodger fan all my life…That being said, I am not drinking the kool aid here because I find major flaws in their reasoning. #1. They are assuming that Joc Pederson will be the opening day CF. Well he has to win the job first, and if he has a spring anything like the last 3, he will be back in AAA. He has never hit over .180 in spring training and last year was the first time he hit any spring HR’s. #2 They are assuming that should Pederson win the job, his production would be in the .240 to .260 range with 15 to 20 HR’s….Again that is a lot to assume. Judging from his performance last Sept, he still needs to work on cutting down those K’s. # 3, and this is the toughey,, They are assuming both McCarthy and Anderson are totally healthy and will contribute from day 1. Anderson has never had a full year in the bigs, and McCarthy has had 1 real good 1/2 season last year with the Yankees. #4 The BP,,,now the order of things will work itself out in spring, but who is the setup guy? League is still on the roster. If you carry 5 starters and 7 relievers that leaves you 5 guys on the bench….which means you need the most versatile guys. SVS, Turner, and Ellis are locks….who are the other 2??? Ethier ? Another Inf.? so the most likely thing is they carry 6 relievers…..4 are locks….Jansen, Hatcher, Howell, and Nicasio. You will need another lefty……and that leaves 1 spot to be fought over in spring….#5, and this is the big if,.I think they undervalued the moves the Padres made. They are going to be much better offensively, and their young pitching is pretty good…the Giants in this poll at least are over rated…the loss of Panda and Morse is going to hurt them,..and my final point. The whole inf is over 30, with 2 of the guys at 35 or older.,,,there has to be a skill set drop off….and I am not sold on Jimmy Rollins as a leadoff man……

    Reply

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