Ryan Boyer

Team Roundups

print article archives RSS

Team Roundup: Dodgers

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Follow @Rotoworld_BB and @RyanPBoyer on Twitter.

 

Los Angeles Dodgers

 

2017 Record: 104-58

First Place, NL West

Team ERA:  3.38 (2nd)

Team OPS: .771 (8th)

 

Editor’s Note: FanDuel is hosting the Rotoworld Beat the Writers Series, where you can play against five Rotoworld football writers for your chance at cash prizes and free entry into their Sunday Million. Put your knowledge to the test!

 

What Went Right

 

Although it ended in disappointment with a World Series Game 7 loss to the Astros, plenty went right for the Dodgers in a National League pennant-winning campaign that included an MLB-best 104 regular season wins. Clayton Kershaw missed time with a back injury for the second straight season, but he was brilliant again when healthy with a 2.31 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 202/30 K/BB ratio over 175 innings. Alex Wood didn’t even make the Opening Day rotation but finished the year with a 2.72 ERA and 151/38 K/BB ratio across 152 1/3 frames. Rich Hill put up a 3.32 ERA and struck out 166 over 135 2/3 innings. Kenley Jansen was the best closer on the planet with a 1.32 ERA and ridiculous 109/7 K/BB ratio over 68 1/3 frames to go along with 41 saves. He flopped in the World Series, but Yu Darvish was terrific in his other two playoff starts and posted a 3.44 ERA and 61/13 K/BB ratio across 49 2/3 regular season innings after the Dodgers traded for him. Hyun-Jin Ryu bounced back from two years wrecked by shoulder issues to deliver a 3.77 ERA over 126 2/3 innings. Justin Turner was brilliant from the No. 3 spot in the order, hitting .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs. Cody Bellinger began the season as a 21-year-old in the minors and ended it with an NL-record 39 longballs. The Dodgers also struck unexpected gold with Chris Taylor, who also didn’t make the Opening Day roster but finished the season with a .288/.354/.496 batting line, 21 dingers and 17 steals. Corey Seager struggled late while nursing an elbow injury, but he still wound up with a .295/.375/.479 line and 22 homers. Yasiel Puig had arguably his most complete season to date, playing in a career-high 152 games and showing Gold Glove defense while posting a .833 OPS with 28 home runs and 15 steals. Austin Barnes began the year as a bit player but finished it with a .289/.408/.486 line and was the starting catcher in the postseason.

 

What Went Wrong

 

Julio Urias was one of the most promising young hurlers in baseball at the beginning of the season, but he struggled in five starts with the big club and eventually had major shoulder surgery in June that could, in effect, knock him out until 2019. He struck out over a batter per inning again, but Kenta Maeda was a relative disappointment for fantasy purposes with a 4.22 ERA. A 35-year-old Adrian Gonzalez looked like he might be done, hitting an ugly .242/.287/.355 with just three home runs over 71 games while battling nagging back and elbow problems. He did his best to make up for it with some heroics in the World Series, but Joc Pederson had an awful regular season that saw him bat just .212/.331/.407 with 11 home runs across 102 games. The Dodgers gave Logan Forsythe a shot in their leadoff spot in the early going, but he flopped and finished with a lowly .678 OPS. He still banged out 22 home runs, but Yasmani Grandal’s strikeouts went up, his walk rate went way down and by the time the postseason rolled around he’d lost his starting catcher job to Austin Barnes. Speedy Andrew Toles suffered a torn ACL after only 31 games. 

 

Fantasy Slants

 

**Chris Taylor hit .234/.289/.309 over his first 318 plate appearances in the majors prior to 2017 and didn’t have a role with the big club at the start of the season. He then proceeded to turn into a waiver wire gem with a .288/.354/.496 batting line, 21 home runs and 17 stolen bases. Taylor’s batted ball profile this season didn’t look overly different than what he showed previously aside from a little bit of a bump in his hard-hit rate. He also benefitted from a .361 BABIP. However, Taylor’s altered swing and approach obviously worked, and he passes the eye test, as well. The average could come down a bit as the BABIP normalizes, and perhaps the power falls back a tad, too. He should certainly maintain value, though, especially with that multi-position eligibility.

 

**Joc Pederson won’t turn 26 until after Opening Day next season, and he slugged 51 home runs in his first two full major league seasons. However, it’s tough to hold much optimism for him after this season’s .212/.331/.407 disappointment that included a demotion to Triple-A. It’s pretty clear at this point that Pederson isn’t going to hit lefties (career .599 OPS), and he’s never run in the big leagues (14-for-26 in stolen base attempts over 408 games) like he did in the minors. We could see the Dodgers look to add a big bat in left field, which would really cloud Pederson’s outlook in Los Angeles.

 

**What is Austin Barnes’ upside in fantasy leagues? To answer that question, we first need to know how much he’s going to play, of course. Barnes probably has to be viewed as the No. 1 catcher going into 2018 based on what transpired down the stretch this season, but Yasmani Grandal is still surely going to play a lot. That’s obviously going to cap Barnes’ upside, but he’s intriguing nonetheless after hitting .289/.408/.486 following a .299/.388/.439 line in the minors. Barnes is an excellent athlete who can steal a base and who will have second base eligibility in addition to catcher in fantasy leagues next season.

 

**Is there any hope left for Adrian Gonzalez? A-Gone battled back and elbow issues throughout the 2017 campaign and was eventually shut down late in the year with the back ailment. He hit an embarrassing .242/.287/.355 with just three home runs over 71 games when on the field and watched Cody Bellinger turn into a star at first base. Bellinger is capable of playing the outfield, but will the Dodgers move him off his best position in order to force Gonzalez into the lineup when the latter turns 36 next May and is coming off an awful season? The five-time All-Star might wind up being a really expensive bench player in 2018.

 

**In the first half, Alex Wood posted a 1.67 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 97/22 K/BB ratio over 80 2/3 innings. In the second half he held a 3.89 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 54/16 K/BB ratio across 71 2/3 frames while also watching his velocity tumble in the wrong direction. Many have wondered about Wood’s ability to hold up physically given his funky mechanics, and he has had his fair share of injuries. He’ll never be a workhorse, but fantasy owners would gladly take 150 innings again and hopefully more consistently. Keep an eye on his velocity in spring training.

 

Key Free Agents: Yu Darvish, Curtis Granderson, Chase Utley, Andre Ethier, Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson

 

Team Needs: The Dodgers might be wise to go after a big bat this winter, and they’ve been projected by many to be a possible landing spot for Giancarlo Stanton. The addition of a setup man ahead of Kenley Jansen is a given, especially if Brandon Morrow departs.



Ryan Boyer is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter.
Email :Ryan Boyer



Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days



Video Center

  •  
    Waivers: Perine a must-add

    Waivers: Perine a must-add
  •  
    Dose: Wilson breaks loose

    Dose: Wilson breaks loose
  •  
    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills

    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills
  •  
    Dose: Brown lights up Titans

    Dose: Brown lights up Titans
  •  
    Silva: Week 11 Matchups

    Silva: Week 11 Matchups
  •  
    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman

    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman
  •  
    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders

    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders
  •  
    Waivers: Davis

    Waivers: Davis' Time to Shine