The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the model of consistency for going on seven years now. Since 2013, Los Angeles has won seven consecutive NL West titles and averaged 95.9 wins along the way. The Dodgers went 106-56 in 2019, the best regular season won-loss record in franchise history. Unfortunately, Los Angeles came up short in the playoffs, losing the NLDS to the Washington Nationals in five games.
Coming up short in the postseason has been a theme for the Dodgers during their modern-day reign. Although they've reached the World Series twice since 2013, they've lost both times, first to the Astros in 2017 and then the Red Sox in 2018. Los Angeles hasn't won a World Series since 1988.
In an attempt to end the 32-year drought, the Dodgers made the biggest blockbuster trade of the offseason, acquiring former AL MVP Mookie Betts and former AL Cy Young winner David Price from the Red Sox in exchange for young outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospects. Unfortunately, the Dodgers will be without the services of Price this season. He has opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns over coronavirus. The Dodgers also traded veteran starter Kenta Maeda to the Twins for reliever Brusdar Graterol and signed lefty Alex Wood and set-up men Joe Kelly and Blake Treinen.
Los Angeles possesses a deep and talented lineup that features a perfect mix of grizzled veterans and young up and comers. The Dodgers led the National League in runs scored with 886 last season. Betts only makes the lineup that much more dangerous. Plus, due to the tweaked rule change, Los Angeles will be able to employ the DH this season.
Here is the Dodgers' projected 2020 starting lineup:
1. Mookie Betts OF
2. Gavin Lux 2B
3. Max Muncy 1B
4. Justin Turner 3B
5. Cody Bellinger OF
6. Corey Seager SS
7. A.J. Pollock DH
8. Joc Pederson OF
9. Will Smith C
Despite losing Price and Maeda, the Dodgers still trot out a formidable starting rotation, including one of MLB's best one-two punches.
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Walker Buehler
3. Alex Wood
4. Julio Urias
5. Ross Stripling
Another strength is their shut-down bullpen, led by closer Kenley Jansen and set-up men Pedro Baez, Kelly and Treinen.
So what do the oddsmakers think of Los Angeles in 2020?
At BetMGM, the Dodgers' win total is 37.5, tied for the highest in MLB with the New York Yankees. This translates to 101.3 wins based on a 162-game schedule.
The juice on the 37.5 win total is -143 to the over, with the under + 120. This heavy over juice is a result of bettors hammering the over, creating house liability on Los Angeles winning 38 games or more this season.
FanGraphs, one of the most trusted sites for advanced baseball analytics, projects the Dodgers having the best record in baseball at 36-24. This would indicate some value on the under 37.5 win total (especially at a juicy + 120 payout).
Los Angeles is the favorite to win the World Series at + 350. The next closest competitors are the Yankees + 400 and Astros + 800.
The Dodgers are a + 145 favorite to win the NL Pennant, followed by the Braves + 700 and Nationals + 1000.
Los Angeles is a massive -667 favorite to win the NL West for the 8th consecutive season. This translates to an 87% implied probability. The Padres are + 700, followed by the Diamondbacks + 1000, Rockies + 4000 and Giants + 5000.
The Dodgers have two of the top four NL MVP candidates. Betts is the favorite at + 550 with Bellinger 4th at + 800. Ronald Acuna Jr (+ 600) and Christian Yelich (+ 700) have the second and third best odds.
Betts is the favorite to lead the NL in runs at + 350. Bellinger in + 1600 to lead the MLB in home runs.
Los Angeles also has a pair of top Cy Young contenders. Young stud Walker Buehler (14-4, 3.26 ERA in 2019) is 4th at + 1000 and Kershaw, who has won the award three previous times, is + 1200. Jacob deGrom (+ 280) is the favorite, followed by Max Scherzer (+ 450) and Jack Flaherty (+ 800).
Kershaw is the co-favorite to lead the NL in wins with Scherzer at + 800. Buehler is the runner up at + 900.
Jansen is the favorite to lead the NL in saves + 500.
Lux is the favorite to win NL Rookie of the Year at + 250.