Any casual fan of baseball knows that making it to the World Series is a huge accomplishment. It’s even more difficult to do so in back to back years. Unfortunately for Dodgers fans, they’ve tasted both the joy and agony that can accompany a World Series berth. And yet, here we are again. Pitchers and catchers have just now started showing up to stretch out for Spring Training, and power rankings are rolling in.
With six straight division titles in their rearview mirror, the Dodgers are once again at the top. Los Angeles ranked third in last year’s preseason power rankings, just behind the Yankees and Astros. Both of those teams fell to the Red Sox, originally ranked 7th ahead of the season.
Alone in the NL
Los Angeles ranks third in preseason power rankings, sandwiched by three American League teams. And that would make sense given that the PECOTA projections have the Red Sox and Yankees combining for 185 wins in 2019. Those two teams actually ended up winning 208 games combined in 2018, if you cared.
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Those same projections have Los Angeles winning 93 games and their seventh straight title in the West. Not only that, they’re projected to run away with the division. Baseball Prospectus has the Rockies in second at nine games behind Los Angeles when the season wraps up.
The Dodgers did not get JT Realmuto. They have yet to land Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, or any other remaining big name on the market. What they did get was get AJ Pollock as their everyday center fielder and Joe Kelly to shore up the bullpen. Most notably though, they are getting back Corey Seager. The downside to all of that is that they lost Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood in the process.
Those three guys who accounted for a combined 4.8 WAR in 2018. Pollock and Kelly combined for a +3 WAR last season, but Pollock has shown he can be a +7 guy. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.
Fans may feel like Los Angeles’ front office didn’t do much in the way of improving their team, but that has not been the case. Sure, they did not(at least yet) sign the superstars. But they did shed some salary, add young talent into the farm system, and give their team a chance to win a World Series.
The projections speak for themselves: The Dodgers are coming for a title.
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