BettorIQ’s MLB Betting Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
BettorIQ continues with its 2020 MLB betting previews. Over the course of the next few months, we will be breaking down all 30 teams from a betting perspective.
Los Angeles Dodgers
2019 Record: 106-56
2019 Profits: +6.5 units
2020 Win Total: 101.5 (based on 162-game season)
2020 Odds to Win NL West: -900
2020 Odds to Win NL Pennant: +102
2020 Odds to Win World Series: +280
Betting Positives: The Dodgers won 106 games last season and PECOTA projects them to win at least four games more than any other team in MLB based on a 162-game season. Prior the delay of the season, the betting markets priced the Dodgers to win more than 100 games. The next closest team in the National League was the Atlanta Braves at 90.5. And despite those lofty expectations, the reality it this year’s roster has even more talent than 2019 thanks to the addition of Mookie Betts, David Price, and Alex Wood. As a whole, the Dodgers have a projected total WAR of 55.0, tops in the MLB. The Dodgers lineup is loaded as Betts joins standouts Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson in the outfield, while Corey Seager and Justin Turner make up one the better left sides of the infield across baseball. Rotation wise, Price is freed from the pressure of Boston and Wood returns to Los Angeles after an injury-plagued season in Cincinnati. While with the Dodgers from 2016-18, Wood posted a 3.29 ERA, 3.39 FIP, and 3.49 xFIP over 62 starts and a few relief appearances. The two will look to complement a staff headlined by veteran Clayton Kershawn and budding star, Walker Buehler. They also possess two talented young guns in Julio Urias and Dusty May.
Betting Negatives: The Dodgers are banking on starters Price and Wood to not only perform but stay healthy. Price will turn 35 years old later this season and has north of 2,000 innings on his arm. Wood has averaged only 100 innings over the last four seasons. The duo is more talented than Hyun-jin Ryu (Toronto) and Kenta Maeda (Minnesota) who have since moved on but Ryu and Maeda also chewed up a combined 336.1 innings last season. The shortened season obviously won’t be as demanding but both Price and Wood were acquired with the postseason in mind. Kelly Jansen remains the team’s closer, a year removed from the highest ERA of his career (3.71) and a career-worst eight blown saves (tied for second-most in MLB). The Dodgers lacked confidence in Jansen last postseason and the signing of former All-Star closer Blake Treinen gives them a potential replacement. Another area of mild concern for the Dodgers is a defense that graded out 18th in the MLB in UZR rating. Although it should be noted they finished first in Defensive Runs Saved.
Handicapper’s Take: The Dodgers are clearly all-in and rightfully so given the roster’s top-to-bottom level of talent. The fact that they are a staggering -900 to win the National League West speaks volumes on how oddsmakers and bettors view this team. Big favorites have been extremely profitable in MLB over the last three seasons and the Dodgers have been at the forefront of that trend. Since 2017, LA is an incredible 160-58 +54 units when priced -180 or higher. How long can that level of success continue? Will the markets eventually catch up? Should the Dodgers fall short of expectations, there will be hefty payday for those who called it. But it’s not difficult to envision this year’s squad being just as dominant (if not more) as they were during 2019’s regular season.