The Dodgers were left out of the Top 5 list for Pre-Spring Training MLB Lineup rankings. With the players who left, on top of the quiet offseason, many may not perceive the Dodgers as a huge threat. Despite what some may think, LA does in fact still have a Top 10 lineup.
In ESPN’s last list of pre-season power rankings, the Dodgers come in as the sixth-best lineup heading into 2023.
At the top of the list sits the 2022 World Series champs, the Houston Astros, followed by the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, the New York Mets, and the San Diego Padres.
Although the Dodger’s offseason moves were not flashy, the team is looking to utilize their latest pickups including J.D. Martinez, Noah Syndergaard, and Miguel Rojas. These new guys are experienced veterans, just like All-Stars Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who can lead the team and guide the younger players as well.
Although the team takes a hit after losing guys including Trea Turner and Andrew Heaney, the Dodgers’ 2023 lineup is still capable of applying some pressure this year. ESPN reporter Bradford Doolittle predicted how the Dodgers will do this season:
“The Dodgers project as the most patient team in the majors and once again will grind opponents with a collective domination of the strike zone and elite on-base percentages. However, this club looks to have a little bit less raw power than past Dodgers teams, as it projects to finish 12th in isolated power and 15th in homer percentage.’”
One significant issue the team faces is the top-heavy batting order. Doolittle touched upon this problem as well:
“The stark difference in this lineup is that, for the Dodgers, it lacks the usual depth of star power. Certainly, few, if any, teams can match the one-two punch of Betts and Freeman, and Smith is a star-level catcher. But the Dodgers have just three hitters projected to finish in the top 90th percentile or better by OPS+.”
With pieces missing in Los Angeles, the team has opted to rely on internal options to fill most of the gaps in their lineup. Regardless of the holes, LA still has a promising year ahead of them. As Spring Training approaches, the team will continue to work toward producing a solid season.
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