2013 MLB Team Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

forsaleThe Los Angeles Dodgers are officially all-in on competing for a World Series win in 2013. The Magic Johnson-led ownership group are working on finalizing a TV deal that’s upwards of $7 billion dollars over the course of the deal. They have the money to sign every major free agent and they started with signing pitcher Zack Greinke.

Will the ex-Boston group of Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett bounce back from an ugly 2012 season?

Is Don Mattingly a lame duck manager or will the Dodgers sign him to a new deal soon?

Here is the 2013 MLB season preview for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2012 Win/Loss Record: 86-76

Key Additions: P Zack Greinke, P Kevin Gregg, P Hyun-Jin Ryu, OF Skip Schumaker, P Kevin Gregg, P Peter Moylan, C Jesus Flores

Key Losses: OF Shane Victorino, P Joe Blanton, P Todd Coffey, P Randy Choate, C Matt Treanor, 1B/OF Juan Rivera, 3B Adam Kennedy, OF Bobby Abreu, P Jamey Wright, P Randy Choate

Interleague Schedule: NL East + Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Projected Starters: A.J. Ellis, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, Luis Cruz, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier

Projected Starting Rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Aaron Harang

Closer: Brandon League

Fantasy Sleepers3B Luis Cruz/3B-OF Alex Castellanos – The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking for a franchise third baseman. Cruz is their guy right now, but it could change. He hasn’t played an entire season in the Majors. He had a line of .297/6/40 in only 78 games last season. He has a good chance at taking the job and run with it, but it comes with risk. He wasn’t known to hit for power in the minors. He may not hit for double-digit homers, but he’ll carry a decent average. The other guy in the sleeper duo is Alex Castellanos. He’s the Dodgers #11 prospect according to Baseball America. He’s had a high batting average at every level, so he will produce at the plate. He has some pop, but will probably max-out at around 25, at his peak. He is a utility player, so in fantasy, he could eventually be eligible for OF, 3B and SS.

Team Analysis: When an MLB team opens their wallet and goes on a spending spree, it’s a risky move. The expectations go through the roof and extra pressure is put on the team to produce right away. There will not be a honeymoon period in Los Angeles, especially if the Angels and Giants start the season hot. The signing of Greinke is the biggest risk on their team. He has a history of social anxiety disorder and with the media of L.A. hovering around him, it may affect his production. The Boston trio get a fresh start in the National League. Gonzalez and Beckett had great years in the NL (in their prime), but this will be Crawford first taste of the Senior Circuit. Only Chicago and Miami had lower run production in the National League last season. Hanley Ramirez had a down year in 2012. He didn’t feel comfortable playing third base and it was reported that he had a bad attitude during his tenure with the Marlins. I expect a bounce back year from him, especially his batting average. Matt Kemp and Andre Either had solid 2012 season, even though Kemp missed some time. He was on a historic pace until a hamstring injury that kept coming back. If they stay healthy, Kemp and Either will be two of the most productive outfielders in the National League. The Dodgers need their production. The starting rotation, as a whole, is underrated. The Dodgers had the 3rd lowest run against in the Majors, only Cincinnati and Tampa had lower totals. They get overlooked since they Giants are in their division. Most say their rotation is top heavy with Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, but I like Harang and Beckett. They eat innings and keep your bullpen fresh. The Dodgers will be improved this season, but I predict they will narrowly win the NL West over the San Francisco Giants.

Sportsbook.ag’s 2013 Wins Over/Under Line: 92.0 (Prediction: OVER)

2013 Projected Win/Loss Record: 93-69 (1st in NL West)

…because people often find my site on Google by trying to find MLB players with their shirt off (I have zero idea how this started). Here is a picture of Matt Kemp shirtless with Rihanna on a boat.

Singer Rihanna enjoys on a boat with her new boyfriend Matt Kemp in Mexico

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