Colorado Rockies opponent insider preview: Los Angeles Dodgers
By Kevin Henry
Today, we begin a series looking at the opponents that will be competing with the Colorado Rockies for the 2018 National League West title. It’s only fitting to start our look inside the West with the defending division and National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
At FanSided, we are fortunate to have experts on every team within our family, including the fine folks who oversee Dodgers Way. We reached out to co-experts Jacob Rudner and Michael Wittman Jr. with five questions about the Dodgers and asked for their predictions for the upcoming season.
The Dodgers and Rockies meet for the first time in 2018 from May 21-23 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles will make its first appearance at Coors Field from June 1-3.
Rox Pile: What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of this year’s Dodgers team?
JR: The greatest strength of this year’s team is, far and away, its lineup from top to bottom and all the way through the minor leagues. Depth and prospects have been a strength for the Dodgers for the past five seasons and this year is no different.
As far as weaknesses go, I still think the biggest one is not necessarily with the players but more the hesitancy of the front office when big opportunities present themselves.
MW: I think the strength of the Dodgers is their position player depth. Even with Justin Turner out, the Dodgers have a top 10 lineup in baseball. The weakness could be the rotation depth. Walker Buehler is waiting in the wings but the Dodgers have some injury prone starters in Alex Wood and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Even Clayton Kershaw has had his injury battles the past few seasons.
Rox Pile: Is Matt Kemp back?
JR: Matt Kemp is back, here to stay, and 45 pounds lighter than last season. He has shown game after game this spring that he is a changed player and he is ready to contribute to the team in whatever way he can. His defense is still suspect and that could raise issues for him playing every day, but he will be a very solid platoon player at the very least.
MW: I think Matt Kemp has never left offensively. On offense, he can still be a middle of the order bat but the problem the Dodgers face is how much will he hurt the club defensively? If he can be close to average, his bat is still worth playing.