2013: 92-70, 1st in NL West; lost NLCS to St. Louis
The biggest payroll, biggest spotlight team in 2014 is in its third year of this new era featuring a virtually unlimited budget to acquire player personnel. LA leads baseball in attendance by a wide margin and it’s not hard to see why; unmatched star power. The fact that the MVP runner-up from just three years ago is somewhat of a dejected fourth outfielder that rotates tell you a lot about their depth. No one knows if Matt Kemp will return to be the player he once was. But with Andre Ethier, Yasiel Puig, and Carl Crawford also in the outfield, the Dodgers easily have the best group in the bigs. Puig picked up right where he left off in 2013 with the aggressive bat, hustle, basically aggressive everything. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez didn’t find his swing from last year yet and looked much more like the underachiever who played his way out of Miami. He showed last season that he can still hit with the best of ‘em though, so just wait till that comes around. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was great, second baseman Dee Gordon had more steals than the rest of the team combined, and third baseman Juan Uribe continued his career renaissance. They rarely need to score many runs though, because of this ridiculous pitching staff.
The Dodgers and Tigers are probably the only team with two legitimate aces. Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw have three Cy Youngs between them and Kershaw has led the NL in ERA each of the last three years. Not to be outdone, Greinke began 2014 on a ridiculous hot streak. Josh Beckett threw a no-hitter over Memorial Day weekend to epitomize a strong comeback season. Hyun-Jin Ryu is in his second great season as an underrated mid-rotation guy, and Dan Haren has got to be one of the best fifth starters around. In the bullpen, former closers Chris Perez, Brian Wilson, JP Howell, and Brandon League set up for hard-throwing Kenley Jansen. Jamey Wright and Chris Withrow also put in valuable innings. Last year’s sensational Paco Rodriguez hadn’t found his stride yet early in 2014. The Dodgers play at, of course, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles’ Elysian Park. Dodger Stadium is the quintessential scene for West Coast baseball and one of the most historic. It may not be championship-or-bust for the Dodgers, but they are still the heavy favorites to win the West and definitely could make a run at their first title since 1988. Gold Coast Tickets has the best selection of LA Dodgers tickets on their quest back to the postseason!