The Los Angeles Dodgers currently sit at the bottom of the NL West with a 2-4 record while their rivals from northern California,the San Francisco Giants sit in first place. The Giants’ pitching and offense have carried them to a 6-1 start and have them thinking about October in early April. The Dodgers, who won the NL West last year, are experiencing some problems throwing the ball well. Through the first week of the season, the Dodgers have a staff ERA of 5.23 (12th in NL) and opponents have scored 33 runs against them.
Chad Billingsley (1-0) and Hiroki Kuroda (1-0) both impressed in their seasonal debuts last week, but Clayton Kershaw and the rest of the staff have started the season on the wrong foot. Thankfully, however, the Dodgers are a talented offensive team and should carry their pitching staff if they have to. I wouldn’t invest too much in the Dodgers’ poor start, especially since they pretty much have the same team as they did last year.
If the offense can continue its great hitting, the Dodgers have the talent to at least compete in the NL West. Through the first week, the offense is hitting .298/.365/.447 and have scored 36 runs (5th in NL). OF Matt Kemp, who I think will come close to a 30/30 season, is leading the Dodgers in RBI’s with seven and runs scored with six. Catcher Russell Martin, who hit just .250/.352/.329 with 7 HR and 53 RBIs last season, is off to a great start for the Dodgers. Through six games, the Dodgers backstop is hitting .364/.611/.727 with 1 HR and an RBI.
The Dodgers will have a more difficult time this year repeating as NL West champs, especially with the way the Giants are playing, but they have enough talent to at least make a run at a repeat. Pitching is still their number one concern heading into week two, but with an offense that’s hitting .298, it shouldn’t be too hard to get back on track.