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The First Power Rankings Puts the Dodgers Ranked Near the Top

Dodgers
ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: David Freese #25 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is greeted in the dugout after scoring a run in the seventh inning of the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on March 24, 2019 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)

Preseason predictions and player projections have sort of become a ritual around baseball. In the days and weeks leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting, experts are already making their predictions on how each team will do in the following season. Actually, from the time the very last pitch was thrown in the World Series, I was already making my predictions for the Dodgers.

The first MLB power rankings have arrived, and Dodgers fans might be happy with the way things are shaping up. As it stands, they have Los Angeles at number four in the rankings. The good news is that they are the best in the entire National League. Naturally, the Astros and Red Sox make up the first two in the rankings. The Yankees take the number three spot, and the Nationals sit at fifth to round out the top five.

The Dodgers, of course, face some uphill challenges. There are plenty of questions surrounding the health and productivity of players that could cause some concern. Clayton Kershaw is not yet healthy, Kanely Jansen’s velocity remains a concern, and Max Muncy’s spring has many nervously pacing the halls of Chavez Ravine. Rich Hill also looks like he could miss an extended period of time, and Walker Buehler got a very slow start to the season.


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Their depth will be tested, that much is certain. The Dodgers will have to bounce back and overcome last season’s VERY slow start. The team went 12-16 during the first month of the season, falling as much as nine games behind the Diamondbacks in the west. Their starting rotation got hit hard with the injury bug, but their depth is ultimately what got them through.

With young guys like Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, and Caleb Ferguson currently on the active roster, they shouldn’t have to worry too much. They also have guys waiting in the minor leagues, like Dustin May, Dennis Santana, and Brock Stewart. The amount of pitching they have across the organization is enough to survive almost any injury realistically.

The Dodgers also picked up a few big names that they did not have last year. Joe Kelly signed a free agent contract to help create a stronger bridge to Kenley Jansen, and he has pitched well so far. Over seven spring innings, he has allowed one earned run and struck out six. Don’t forget, the Dodgers also get Corey Seager back this year. He has already shown he’s ready for the season to start, hitting a homerun in his second at-bat back from Tommy John surgery.

This is a dangerous team, and the real threat comes from the depth within their organization. Putting them in the top five was the right call, and I think number three suites them well. If they can get off to a hot start, it’s only a matter of time before they are back at number one.

 

[button link=”https://www.dodgersnation.com/dodgers-austin-barnes-will-get-most-starts-behind-the-plate/2019/03/22/” type=”big” color=”red”] AUSTIN BARNES WILL GET MOST STARTS BEHIND THE PLATE [/button]

Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Let’s hope lethargy does not set in what with all these predictions. There are still 162 games to be played and if the last few exhibition games are an indicator a wake up call may be necessary. Good thing that maybe outside of the Rockies there is no competition in the west. I have been a close follower/fan of the Dodgers since 1940 and have been through thick and thin for decades. This should be one of the better teams but injuries are already setting in. Very few ball players used to get injured. Over training? Also, Jansen did not look great last night but maybe Muncy woke up. My thoughts. Jim C

  2. I almost fell over when I read Robert’s quote saying he thinks this year’s team is better than last. Who in the heck is he kidding? Nothing could be further from the truth because this year’s team is not and that IS A FACT. OH and BTW how does everyone feel about the last 7 of 8 ST games? I know they don’t count but Dodgers have lost 7 straight with 1 tie and don’t look now but Verdugo looks like sh……..t at the plate and I for one do NOT think he deserves a roster spot at this time. I tried to watch last night’s game but I must be honest here, folks… this team is tough to watch and as one poster said a few days ago this offense is downright BORING!

    • What do you think Robert’s would say? This team is declining. They did nothing to address the bullpen, and replaced puig with Pollock. So it will be same old with 9/10 marginal players platooning with each other. Lots of luck this year with a team deep in mediocrity. We have a pitching staff that is deep??? And as soon as someone gets hurt we sign a has been who has already been cut this year.

      • Ya know something Gordon60, I cannot dispute anything in your reply…all very true.. Deep in mediocrity as a result of players who are made marginal with the platooning or to be honest they are and were marginal to begin with. Most of this roster is made up of guys who for whatever reason are only effective against one side of a pitcher, and have horrific splits.as a result. and yep, I am sure you saw how Dodgers signed Justin Grimm to a minor league deal, thinking he may ’round out’ the BP…

        • Hey Paul. A grimm reminder about how shallow (opposite of deep) our bull pen really is. I do agree with you that some of these players are mediocre and always have been. Others such as joc and bellinger have been turned into platoon players. The truth is that you NEVER platoon a good player which really says it all about this team.

      • Now is that the same 9/10 marginal players that got them to the World Series the last two years.Those marginal players?

        • Yes, perhaps but those very same ‘marginal’ players were exposed when it mattered the most in the WS. And it was the 2018 WS that the Dodger’s infamous platooning obsession was exposed by a team who’s lineup had better hitters who could compete against BOTH sides of an opposing pitcher.

  3. I watched the game last night. It’s the same issues from last year. Tons of traffic on the bases but terrible with RISP. Tons of K’s. Last night it was Pollock who really set the tone early with 2 horrific looking strikeouts in the first few innings with men on base. The Dodgers should’ve scored at least 3 in the first 3 innings but came out with 1 and the Angels capitalized on their opportunities and made it 4-1. It was over after that

    • NODH, I too watched the game as ya might expect and came away basically thinking the same things. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone into my den and played some of my vintage vinyl LP’s instead of watching them strike out 15 more times!

        • Yeah and on April 13,instead of a Dodger game I may participate in the nationwide event known as “Record Store Day” . It’s a day where those independent record store outlets set out some very limited vinyl editions, distributed for that 1 day only. and once they are sold out that’s it…they cannot be re-ordered.

  4. Brook, you sound like a propaganda guy working for the Dodgers. The fact is that we lost to the Astros and a far superior Red Sox team the last 2 years and failed to improve the team during the off season. Of course we are still rated below both of those teams AND the Yankees. I’m disgusted by the lack of desire to win it all! I guess the attitude in the front office is that of Stan Kasten. As long as people still buy tickets, everything must be fine.

  5. Wow, the season hasn’t started, but according to y’all this team sucks. I had to catch myself for a minute and make sure I wasn’t reading a Giant’s website, what a bummer y’all are. I think I’ll burn all my Dodger swag and become an A’s fan. At least no one expects them to win anything.

    Lighten up, this isn’t a therapy session where we all see who can bring each other the lowest, ITS BASEBALL, damn it! Where every spring brings hope eternal!! Lets have some fun!!! GO BLUE!!

  6. So for spring the Dodgers are the 2nd worst hitting team and 3rd worst pitching ranked by average and ERA. I am a huge fan but something is just wrong with that. You have a leadoff hitter that bats 167 and a relief group that still is trying to make Yimi a player. Hill is old and hurt. Love Kersh but can he throw 90 anymore? Jansen is not all that sharp unless he’s facing low level minor leaguers. I hope they wake up when the bell rings and hope I am wrong but not looking good right now.

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