Cactus League Spring Training Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

kershaw-kemp-ethier-la

Strange things are going on in Los Angeles. The Lakers are no longer the team. Somehow the Clippers have stolen much of the spotlight. And the Dodgers have been surpassed by the Angels. Not good. Bankrupt with a new owner soon. Hopefully this one doesn’t run the team like his own personal piggy bank.

Still the Dodgers have the talent to get it done in the NL West.

The Los Angeles Dodgers feature a starting rotation of Cy Young Award Winner, Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Ted Lilly. It is not going to match the other LA team in terms of pure dominance, but really how many teams can match the Angels pitching staff? I expect Harang and Kershaw to lead the team, with the rest falling in line nicely behind them.

The line-up does have a few holes, but with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Tony Gwynn Jr., James Loney and Dee Gordon, they will score some runs. They could use an upgrade at catcher and third base. If they are in the hunt come July, look for them to fill one of those needs.

I would love to see Scott Van Slyke make the big league club, perhaps take over the everyday job in left field. I always enjoyed watching his pops, Andy Van Slyke, play even though he always beat my Cubs. That dude gave it all, every single day and his son might be even more talented. At 6’5″ and 220 lbs he is definitely bigger.

My guess is the Dodgers will hang with the D’Backs and Giants until the dog days of August before one of those teams pulls away from the rest of the NL West. Kemp will compete for the MVP, which he should have won last season and Kershaw will be in the hunt for a 2nd straight Cy Young Award.

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