Postseason Previews: Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted: October 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

dodgers

2013 Record: 92-70, First NL West

Offense: What a year it’s been for the Dodgers. This team went from last place in May to NL West juggernaut all summer long. Hanley Ramirez (.345-20-57) and Adrian Gonzalez (.293-22-100) are the veteran leaders in a high powered offense. Rookie sensation Yasiel Puig (.319-19-42) began his career with much fanfare only to see his success taper off in the latter stages of the campaign. If the Dodgers hope to capture their first championship since 1988 they will need Puig to reestablish himself as a dynamic offensive force. One advantage that the Dodgers do possess is depth. With the acquisition of Michael Young, Los Angeles has multiple talented pinch hit bats from both sides of the plates.

Rotation: Their pitching staff, one of the deepest in baseball at the start of the season, is headlined by Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83) and Zach Greinke (15-4, 2.63). The former is the greatest pitcher of our day. At just 25, Kershaw has emerged as the undisputed best starter in baseball in 2013. Greinke, who came over via free agency last winter, has been nearly unbeatable at home and gained valuable postseason experience in 2011 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Hyun-jin Ryu and Ricky Nolasco will serve as the team’s three and four starters this October, respectively.

Bullpen: Los Angeles greatly improved the depth of their bullpen during the course of this season. They began the year with Brandon league (6-4, 5.30, 14 SV) as their closer. It wasn’t long until his ineffectiveness pave the way for Kenley Jansen (4-3, 1.88, 28 SV). Jansen does not have the playoff experience of other team’s closers. But, he has electric stuff that, in theory, should transfer well to October baseball. In front of Jansen are veteran arms in Ronald Belisario (5-7, 3.97) and J.P. Howell (4-1, 2.03). Howell pitched in the 2008 World Series for the Rays. Carlos Marmol (0-0, 2.53) and Brian Wilson (2-1, 0.66), acquired over the summer, add depth and veteran playoff experience.

Coaching: Don Mattingly has never been the skipper of a playoff team. Still, his poise in leading the Dodgers from last place to first place over the course of nearly a month this summer showed tremendous leadership ability. Mattingly may not have the experience at the greatest of stages; but, he certainly has an impressive resume as both player and now as a manager.

Outlook: Lose World Series, 2-4

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