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Portrait 2024: Los Angeles Dodgers – Passion MLB


Once again this year, Passion MLB offers you a daily portrait of the different MLB teams, in order to prepare for the 2024 season.

On the menu today: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2023 season

For a second consecutive year and a tenth time in eleven years, the Dodgers were crowned National West champions. They reached the 100-win plateau for the third straight time with a 100-62 record, and a winning percentage above .600 for the fifth year in a row, finishing at .617.

In short, the Dodgers have been the team to beat for several years now, and they should remain so in 2024.

On the other hand, it is rather in the post-season series that the portrait becomes a little thinner. In 2023, the Dodgers were eliminated in the division series in three short games against a division rival (Diamondbacks), despite having the same key players that allowed them to have success in the season.

To avoid the same fate, they will have to emphasize one thing in particular: sustainability. That is to say, being able to allow good players to remain at the top of their form in the longer term. And this season, they'll benefit from the addition of an ace hitter who certainly can't hurt.

Additions and Departures

How can we talk about the Dodgers while avoiding returning to THE signature of the winter, in the free agent market? With today's biggest star coming to town, the team simply can't have lower standards than last year.

Although he won't be able to pitch this season, Shohei Ohtani will play a key role in the heart of the Dodgers' lineup on a daily basis (if he can stay healthy). The best player in the league on one of the strongest teams, of course it can't be a miss. It must produce concrete results, and quickly.

Aside from Ohtani, Los Angeles was of course also able to get its hands on some good assets for its rotation. Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Tyler Glasnow will solidify an already fairly robust pitching staff, and they will certainly help build one of the best rotations in the majors.

James Paxton, meanwhile, may find his place in the bullpen, but has enough experience as a starter. The team will therefore be able to use it in the event of an injury.

The Dodgers have been less productive on the roster side. They have some good bats in the minors, but the one who will certainly have the most impact is Teoscar Hernandez. Manuel Margot clearly would have helped as well, but after acquiring the outfielder in December, the Dodgers subsequently traded him again to the Twins in late February.

For departures, no name of great importance will not return this year (besides JD Martinez), in the dugout of the team. However, we can highlight a few important names who will not return, including Amed Rosario, Kolten Wong, Lance Lynn and Ryan Pepiot.

Note that Clayton Kershaw has chosen to return to town and that Julio Urias, who is in trouble with the law, does not currently have an MLB contract.

Strengths and weaknesses

It’s certain that inserting a stick like Shohei Ohtani’s into his lineup can’t hurt. He certainly has the skills of a player who can do multiple things on the field. It's not for nothing that he was the most coveted free agent of the winter! And when he gets the go to start throwing, his game will be even more spectacular.

As mentioned, the Dodgers have a rotation that will absolutely be feared in the Majors. Its depth is phenomenal in itself: in addition to Tyler Glasnow, who has already received the green light for the opening matches in South Korea, we have Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Walker Buehler (when he returns), to start the season. With Clayton Kershaw and Dustin May expected to be back by the second half of the season, and other good arms in the minors, we can be sure to see a tough pitching staff to beat, in the Dodgers.

Shohei Ohtani will support an already very solid lineup for the Dodgers, where we can count Freddie Freeman, Kiké Hernandez, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Mookie Betts, to name a few.

The bullpen, however, still needs work: without saying that it is not good, we can still admit that it does not have the same depth as the rotation or the alignment. After Joe Kelly, James Paxton (potentially), Blake Treinen, Ryan Brasier and JP Feyereisen, it pretty much ends there. The team will have work to do to prove its bullpen, which, you never know, could make the difference come October.

Speaking of the playoffs, another crucial aspect that could determine the depth of the team's presence: say what you will about Shohei Ohtani, the fact of never having played for a competing team, in September, cannot not be ignored. The multi-talented young prodigal may have rewritten the record books in recent years, but he has a long way to go if he wants to prove himself.

Expectations for the 2024 season

As mentioned since the beginning of the portrait, no one in the baseball world can predict a portrait of the 2024 playoffs without including the Dodgers. The Californian team will once again be the team to beat this season, and its multiple free agent signings constitute an asset to solidify a team that is already quite complete, basically.

Even though the team has already won the World Series, not so long ago, there is a sense that general manager Brandon Gomes, who is entering his third year on the job, wants to see concrete results quickly, and he has taken heavy artillery this winter so as not to disappoint his supporters. It's the same thing for Andrew Friedman, the club's baseball boss.

Expect to see concrete results, because Gomes knows that the entire baseball world will have their eyes on his team, and above all, on how far they will go in the post-season series.



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