Coming off consecutive World Series defeats, the Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2019 season more motivated than ever to finally get over the hump and capture their first championship since 1988.
On top of several additions made over the offseason, Los Angeles returns the majority of its core that played a pivotal role in helping the club reach back-to-back Fall Classics.
Projections strongly favor the Dodgers’ chances to at least return to the postseason in 2019, as they’re pegged by Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA model to post the best record in the National League.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman is also confident in his club’s chances for success this season, deeming them a World Series contender, per ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez:
“I think the most important thing for our fans is, ‘Are we in a position to win a World Series?'” Friedman said. “I feel strongly that we are, and time will tell.”
While Friedman has been subjected to criticism by Dodgers fans for not making a major free-agent splash this offseason, he wasn’t shy in shaking up the roster with numerous acquisitions and subtractions.
In addition to the notable departures of Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal, Friedman additionally parted ways with the likes of Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig and Alex Wood in a blockbuster trade with the Cincinnati Reds.
Among the newcomers for the 2019 season include former Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock, Boston Red Sox postseason standout Joe Kelly and old friend Russell Martin, who was brought back to the organization in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Friedman doesn’t see a weak spot on his new-look Dodgers team and believes the combination of his acquisitions and returning core will equate to an elite roster that flourishes in 2019.