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Considering a best bet for the Los Angeles Dodgers 2020 win total

The Dodgers made the biggest move on the offseason, improving a team that was already slated for success. How much does this improve their regular season win total for 2020?

Newly acquired Los Angeles Dodgers players Mookie Betts and David Price tour Dodger Stadium after a press conference. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of teams that won the offseason, the Dodgers should quickly come to mind. After months of speculation, the Dodgers completed a monster trade that brought them Mookie Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox. It was a move that quite frankly, wasn’t necessary for the Dodgers but one that if you have the opportunity to make, you do it. Even without these two players, the Dodgers were about to embark on what should be another very successful season. Yet, now they add these huge pieces and make their 2020 season all the more interesting.

Additions

SP Alex Wood
SP David Price
RP Blake Treinen
RP Jimmy Nelson
OF Mookie Betts

Subtractions

SP Hyun-Jin Ryu
SP Rich Hill
RP Yimi Garcia
1B David Freese
3B Jedd Gyorko
C Russell Martin

Offseason news

With the addition of Betts, he’s projected to bat leadoff for a team that ranked fifth in runs overall last season, but first in the National League with 886. He was one of the bright spots for the Red Sox last season, slashing .295/.391/.524 with 29 home runs, 80 RBI and 135 runs scored. Sure, his numbers will take a bit of a hit as playing 81 games in Dodger Stadium compared to Fenway Park is quite the difference. However, Betts is so talented that even with a slightly lighter line, his contributions will be astronomical and this team should score a TON of runs. As I mentioned, this team was already great without Betts. The majority of their lineup is returning and they’re coming off a season in which they won 106 games. Add Betts into the mix? Best of luck to the rest of the National League.

Price was the other piece to the trade. Ask the majority of people and he was the “throw in” piece to get the deal done. I don’t think it’s being talked about enough of how much an important piece he could be. Kenta Maeda is no longer part of this team as he was shipped off to the Twins in a separate deal. Price should slot into the middle of the rotation, which is prefect for him. He won’t be relied upon as a “stopper” and should be able to coast in this big market. Both the media and Price were critical of each other during his tenure in Boston which people believed was his biggest downfall. Price is coming off one of his best seasons with the Red Sox and posted a new career-high in K% at 28. If he continues to miss bats at a rate like that, he could be a very effective middle of the rotation guy in a very cozy stadium for pitchers.

One of the better moves that came early in the offseason was the signing of RP Blake Treinen. I think it’s fair to say the Dodgers bullpen was average at best last season, so the former A’s closer is going to try and close that gap. It was a nightmare season for Treinen in 2019, who ended up being non-tendered. Through 57 games, he blew five saves and posted an uncharacteristic 5.6 BB/9 and just a 12.5% swing-and-miss rate, which was down dramatically from his 18% last season. We’ve seen Treinen be one of the more effective closers in the game and putting him in a setup role could help ease the burden he’s placed on himself and get back into form. It was hard to poke holes in the Dodgers roster last season but this certainly was an area they needed help with.

Best bet

The first inclination anyone would likely have when it comes to the Dodgers is to take the over on their win total. Looking at DraftKings Sportsbook, their total is set at 100.5 wins, which is the second-highest total in the league. The Yankees own the highest total at 101.5 wins over in the American League. Personally, I hate taking win totals over 100 because SO MUCH has to go right for a team to hit this mark. With that said, would you feel comfortable taking the under in this spot? I certainly wouldn’t. With the massive moves made, do we really think this club will lose MORE games than last season?

The National League West is going to be a two-team, potentially three team race at best. The Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Padres will likely be the only teams over .500 this season as the Giants and Rockies compete for the cellar. This should allow the Dodgers to once again beat up on a division they went 51-25 against last season. If you’re not comfortable taking the over, I think this is one you’re best staying away from as I can’t justify taking the under.

Los Angeles Dodgers OVER 100.5 wins

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