What the Los Angeles Dodgers may have lost in star power this offseason, they’ve made up with depth that other clubs rival. Zack Greinke’s spot in the starting rotation was filled by the signings of Scott Kazmir and Kenta Maeda.
The left-hander and Japanese native gives the Dodgers six options for their rotation, which should bode well considering the litany of injuries starting pitchers suffered last season. Additionally, much of the core roster from 2015 returns.
A notable change in the everyday lineup comes at shortstop, where Corey Seager is expected to take over for his first full season in the Majors.
Factoring all of that in, PECOTA is extremely bullish on the Dodgers for the 2016 season. Los Angeles is projected to win a fourth consecutive National League West title, and finish with the best record in the Majors at 94-68.
The Dodgers are predicted to finish seven games ahead of the San Francisco Giants (87-75) and 16 games ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks (78-84). The New York Mets, last season’s NL champion, are projected to go 91-71.
NL teams forecasted to come in behind the Dodgers and their 94 wins are the Chicago Cubs (92-70) and Mets. The Giants and Washington Nationals have the next-best projections at 87-75. As for the American League, the Cleveland Indians are predicted to have a 92-70 record.
They’re followed by the Tampa Bay Rays (91-71), Boston Red Sox (88-74) and Houston Astros (87-75). Reigning World Series champions Kansas City Royals are projected to have a 76-86 record, good for last place in the AL Central division.
PECOTA predicted the Dodgers to win the NL West last season and pace the Majors in wins by going 97-65. Los Angeles took home a third consecutive division title, though finished 92-70.
They’ve won at least 90 games in each of the past three seasons for the first time since 1976-78. The Dodgers three consecutive NL West titles are a first in franchise history.