2021 Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
World. Series. Champions.
That’s the headline that was plastered all over the media on Oct. 28, just one day after the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays to win the franchise’s seventh World Series title. For as long as the Dodgers waited to celebrate -- they’ve tasted defeat twice in the previous three years -- I could only imagine how sweet victory must have felt. Time will tell if the World Series hangover is going to affect the Dodgers. However, if you look at the roster and pitching rotation, one has to believe they have far too much talent to be affected by it.
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The Dodgers will get their title defense underway on April 1 with a seven-game road trip with four games at Coors Field in Colorado against the Rockies and a three-game set at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland against the A’s. From there, the Dodgers welcome the Nationals for three and then the Rockies for three before taking on San Diego at Petco. Coming into this year, the Dodgers remain favorites to win defend their title at +300. They are also +170 to win the NL and -260 to win the NL West. In terms of the season win total, it’s an absurd 102.5.
Dodgers 2021 Projected Lineup
The Los Angeles Dodgers were an offensive machine last season. They scored a total of 349 runs and hit .256 as a team. To make matters worse for opposing teams, the Dodgers bring back their entire lineup from last year, which is now one year older and one year more experienced.
If the season started today, the projected lineup would look like this:
- Mookie Betts
- Corey Seager
- Justin Turner
- Cody Bellinger
- Will Smith
- Max Muncy
- A.J. Pollock
- Chris Taylor
- Pitchers Spot
You can essentially single out any one player in this lineup and find stats that prove last year was no fluke. Let’s start with the quartet of Betts, Seager, Turner and Bellinger. The first two had excellent regular seasons, combing for 31 home runs. They are projected this year to hit 66 home runs while batting just a shade below .300. Bellinger, a former NL Rookie of the Year, had himself a solid campaign last year, hitting .239 but turned in 12 home runs, 33 runs and 30 runs batted in. He also stole six bases. He underwent offseason surgery to repair a should issue, but he’s expected to be in the opening day lineup. He’s projected to lead the way with 40 home runs.
Further down the lineup, the final quartet of position players are projected to be just as dominant as some team’s top of the order. Smith, Munch, Pollock and Taylor are projected to hit a combined 93 homeruns, which is insane when you think about it. If they can get that kind of contribution from the bottom of the lineup, the Dodgers are going to be a machine once again this year.
Dodgers 2021 Projected Rotation & Closer
The Dodgers are sitting pretty heading into spring training with a pitching rotation that features some big names with some nasty stuff.
The “ace” of the staff is still Clayton Kershaw, and until he retires this is going to be his team. He was as dominant as ever last year as he started 10 regular-season games and posted a 6-2 record with a 2.16 ERA. In most cases, that would be enough for major Cy Young consideration, but the guy behind him was just that much better.
The guy I’m talking about is the newly acquired Trevor Bauer. He dominated the league last year with the Reds, posting a 5-4 record with a 1.73 ERA. The win-loss record doesn’t do his season justice as Bauer was simply unhittable for 90 percent of the year and was rightfully reward with an individual accolade on a team that was bad.
Behind those two workhorses, the Dodgers will rely on Walker Buehler, Julio Urias and David Price to hold down the back end of the rotation. Buehler and Urias had solid 2020 campaigns, with each of them keeping their ERA under 3.45. Price opted out of last year because of the COVID issues, so I believe the rest on the arm will only benefit the aging pitcher.
The Dodgers’ bullpen remains largely unchanged, so that means Kenley Jansen will be closing games for the Dodgers once again. He managed 11 saves last year, but not very many of them were straight-forward. The relievers and set up men all featured respectable ERA’s and should be dominant once again this season.
Dodgers 2021 Predictions
FanGraphs projects Los Angeles to finish this year with a record of 98-64 and win the NL West by just three games over San Diego. The Dodgers are definitely the best team in the NL West and should make it nine consecutive division banners – barring any major injuries to key contributors. The lineup once again looks lethal one through nine and the rotation is as good as ever. The win total is inflated but I still believe the Dodgers can win 105 games.
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