The Los Angeles Dodgers have a bottomless pile of money to spend and some of the greatest baseball minds working in their front office. It’s probably only a matter of time before they win a World Series, right?
I believe the Dodgers will win at least one World Series during Andrew Friedman’s tenure as team president, but some changes were needed to be made this offseason.
Don Mattingly was on the hot seat for nearly his entire run as manager. They finally let him go in favor of Dave Roberts.
Will the Dodgers make any other big moves this season as the front office continues to improve the roster?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Los Angels Dodgers.
2015 Win/Loss Record: 92-70
Key Additions: SP Kenta Maeda, SP Scott Kazmir, SP Joe Blanton, 2B Micah Johnson, SP Brandon Beachy, RP Lisalverto Bonilla, RP Cody Bellinger, 2B Charlie Culberson, SS Brandon Hicks & RP Jamey Wright
Key Losses: SP Zack Greinke, RP Juan Nicasio & RP Joel Peralta
Interleague Schedule: AL East
Projected Starters: Yasmani Grandal, Adrian Gonzalez, Howie Kendrick, Justin Turner, Corey Seager, Carl Crawford, Joc Pederson & Yasiel Puig
Projected Starting Rotation: Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Alex Wood, Brett Anderson & Kenta Maeda
Closer: Kenley Jansen
Fantasy Sleeper: 2B Alex Guerrero – Picking a sleeper on the Dodgers roster is tricky. I feel a few young guys on the Dodgers are overrated, so I will acknowledge a deep sleeper. Guerrero was on fire last April, but then just disappeared. If he can string together a few decent weeks in a row without bottoming out, his power potential is hard to ignore. Keep an eye on him to see if he makes the 25-man roster.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SP Julio Urias – Urias is the next great pitcher in the Dodgers farm system. He’s only 18 and he made a couple starts in Triple-A last season. I have a feeling he will get a taste of the Majors at some point this season, especially if the rotation suffers an injury or two. They may just want to stretch him out this year since he’s only maxed out to around 90 innings in a season. If they can get him to 150 innings without any injuries this season, they may just want to shut him down.
Team Analysis: The Dodgers fired Don Mattingly after last season and hired Dave Roberts to take over. Mattingly did a good job with the Dodgers, but there was always a clash between him and some of his stars that was off-putting. Dave Roberts played with Manny Ramirez and a few other characters in his career, so he is better suited at dealing with guys like Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers have put a lot of focus on their front office over the last few seasons. They have Andrew Friedman (who ran the Rays for many years), Josh Byrnes (who ran the Dbacks and Padres), Farhan Zaidi (former assistant GM of the A’s), Alex Anthopoulos (former GM of the Blue Jays) and Ned Coletti (former Dodgers GM) all in the front office in some capacity. They are just making up titles for these guys as they bring them in. They have some of the most analytical baseball minds in the business…yet their roster doesn’t seem very Bill James-friendly. I guess a team needs to have someone like David Eckstein playing everyday for me to think that Bill James would love said team. Some changes will be made soon.
The Dodgers will once again be very good, but the Giants will hang with them in the NL West this season. I also wouldn’t count out Arizona with their upgrades hanging in there for most of the year.
The Dodgers do need to thin out their outfield options at some point. Yasiel Puig or Carl Crawford could see their names mentioned in trade rumors.
2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 89.5 (Prediction: OVER)
2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 92-70 (1st NL West)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.