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Los Angeles Dodgers MLB Free Agency Transactions, Starting Lineup and Roster Breakdown

Preseason MLB betting odds have installed the Los Angeles Dodgers as a hefty favorite to win the 2022 World Series. Indeed, the more things change in the MLB, the more they stay the same. After falling to the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS last year, the Dodgers went out and made an already loaded starting lineup even better in MLB free agency. The fact that it came at the expense of the defending world champs has to make it all the more satisfying for Dodger fans. It will take a whole lot to prevent Los Angeles from achieving tremendous success in the upcoming season.

After bolstering an already daunting lineup, the Dodgers also inked manager Dave Roberts to a three-year contract extension. Shortly after signing the deal, Roberts virtually guaranteed a World Series title for L.A. in 2022. Is the skipper justified in his confidence? The following article recaps the most notable Los Angeles Dodgers free agency and offseason transactions, looks at the team’s projected starting lineup and previews the roster’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of the 2022 MLB season.

Los Angeles Dodgers 2021 Season in Review

Record: 106-56 (No. 2 in NL West)
Run Differential: +269
Team Batting Average: .244 (No. 12 in MLB)
Team Pitching ERA: 3.01 (No. 1 in MLB)
Postseason Result: NLCS (lost to ATL 4-2)

Los Angeles Dodgers Free Agency Transactions

Key Additions

  • Freddie Freeman, 1B (from ATL)
  • Andrew Heaney, SP (from NYY)
  • Tyler Anderson, SP (from SEA)
  • Daniel Hudson, RP (from SD)

Key Re-Signings

  • Clayton Kershaw, SP
  • Chris Taylor, 2B
  • Danny Duffy, RP

Key Losses

  • Corey Seager, SS (to TEX)
  • Max Scherzer, SP (to NYM)
  • Kenley Jansen, RP (to ATL)
  • Corey Knebel, RP (to PHI)
  • Joe Kelly, RP (to CHW)
Mookie Betts Los Angeles Dodgers MLB free agency transactions projected starting lineup roster preview
Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

2022 MLB Season Preview | Los Angeles Dodgers

When the Dodgers inked longtime Atlanta Brave Freddie Freeman to a fresh six-year contract, they effectively stole the show in MLB free agency. As one of the biggest-spending teams in baseball, winning in free agency is nothing out of the ordinary for L.A. The real test will now be trying to make their latest prized acquisition a part of a championship season. Despite being annual World Series contenders, if not outright favorites, the Dodgers have only one ring to show for it. The fact that it came in the obscure season that was 2020 casts a bit of a cloud over it as well.

While the signing of Freeman garnered all the hype, it should be noted that the Dodgers lost several key pieces this offseason as well. No departure looms larger than ace pitcher Max Scherzer. Fortunately, Los Angeles still has star shortstop Trea Turner, the other half of last year’s blockbuster deadline trade under contract. Turner’s presence made it much easier to watch Corey Seager head elsewhere in free agency.

Last year, the Dodgers had an embarrassment of riches in their bullpen. At least to start out the 2022 MLB season, L.A.’s relief pitching will not have the same degree of depth. Longtime Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen departed for Atlanta in what felt like a revenge signing of sorts for the Braves after the Freeman deal. Corey Knebel and Joe Kelly also signed elsewhere in MLB free agency. The former was a spot starter on multiple occasions for Dave Roberts and the Dodgers during the postseason last year.

Projected Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup

Lineup and rotation projections reflect the latest update on RotoChamp.com

  1. Mookie Betts, OF
  2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
  3. Trea Turner, SS
  4. Max Muncy, DH
  5. Will Smith, C
  6. Justin Turner, 3B
  7. Chris Taylor, 2B
  8. Cody Bellinger, OF
  9. A.J. Pollack, OF

Projected Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Rotation

  1. Walker Buehler
  2. Clayton Kershaw
  3. Julio Urias
  4. Andrew Heaney
  5. Tony Gonsolin

Los Angeles Dodgers Roster Breakdown

Greatest Strength — No Easy Out

One cannot help but feel bad for any and all opposing pitchers that are forced to try and navigate the 2022 Los Angeles Dodgers starting lineup. The addition of Freddie Freeman coupled with MLB instituting the designated hitter in the national league truly means that there is not a single easy out in the Dodgers batting order. How would you like to try and face Mookie Betts, Freeman, Trea Turner, Max Muncy and Will Smith in succession? We are literally talking about five of the best hitters in baseball today. Even Chris Taylor and A.J. Pollack at the bottom of the order will bring plenty of fight. If Cody Bellinger can rediscover his form from two years ago, look the hell out!

Glaring Weakness — Starting Pitching Depth

Assuming the Dodgers perform up to expectations, one can bet the house on them shopping for starting pitching when the trade deadline rolls around. Losing Max Scherzer hurts Los Angeles much more from a depth standpoint than a true top-gun at the top of the rotation. After all, Walker Buehler is truly a staff ace-caliber pitcher. Behind him, however, things get a bit dicey.

It will be vital for Julio Urias to sustain last season’s success in 2022. While the Dodgers resigned former ace, Clayton Kershaw, his durability at age 34 raises doubts. Behind him, L.A. could be looking at a revolving door as far as the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation. Initially, free-agent acquisition Andrew Heaney and Tony Gonsolin figure to occupy these spots. How Jimmy Nelson slots in when he returns from elbow surgery will be something to monitor.

Los Angeles Dodgers Season Outlook, MLB Betting Odds and Prediction

All MLB betting odds are taken from Bovada Sportsbook.

World Series: +450
NL Pennant: +200
NL West Division: -250
To Make the Playoffs: Yes: (-1000) | No: (+550)
Regular Season Win Total: 98.5 — Over: (-115) | Under: (-115)

Given that the Dodgers are such hefty MLB betting favorites, there is very little value on them coming into the 2022 campaign. By no means should one rush to bet Los Angeles to win the World Series or even the NL Pennant for that matter. The Dodgers starting lineup may be disgusting, but the lack of pitching depth is a very real concern.

In all honesty, one could argue that the Dodgers’ regular-season win total of 98.5 may be on the high side. Sure, the team won 106 games last year, but they were pushed to keep winning the entire season thanks to the San Francisco Giants drastically exceeding expectations. For one thing, the Dodgers probably won’t find themselves in quite the same type of NL West Division race as a year ago. In addition, the pitching staff on this year’s team pales in comparison to last year’s. With several National League clubs improving this offseason, the Dodgers could be hard-pressed to pull off another 100-win season.

Los Angeles Dodgers Season Prediction: Under 98.5 Wins (-115 at Bovada Sportsbook)


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