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Los Angeles Dodgers Betting - Los Angeles Picks Up The Pieces

Posted by Dale “Skip” Lalonde on 4/10/2012 9:55:35 AM

The Los Angeles Dodgers have just witnessed an extremely messy offseason full of distractions and unwelcome episodes. Can this team possibly fight its way to the top of its division?

Los Angeles Dodgers

If you are interested in betting on baseball this season, you won't find very many analysts who are high on the Dodgers. This is an organization that just watched its team get sold a few weeks ago, ending an extended nightmare in Southern California that overshadowed everything else in the life of what was once a stable franchise. The Dodgers were, for so many decades – not just years – a model of stability. They had just two managers, Walter Alston and Tommy Lasorda, over a period of roughly 40 years.

The stewardship of the O'Malley family, under Walter and then son Peter, ushered the Dodgers through a prolonged period of relative peace and seamless internal operations. Now, the Dodgers are just beginning to sift through the rubble of the disastrous Frank McCourt era, a dark period of wayward ownership that crippled the team's finances and damaged player morale.

Players will be glad to be free of the McCourt era, but this is still an incomplete club that will lack resources. Matt Kemp almost won the National League MVP award last year, but he won't have much help in this lineup. Andre Ethier and James Loney are decent players, but they're not the imposing hitters who will give Kemp adequate protection in the Dodgers' batting order, which is either light or untested or both at most other spots. The top of the order will likely struggle to get on base, meaning that Kemp will be walked a lot with nobody on base and two outs in a given inning. The bottom part of the order, with Juan Uribe and A.J. Ellis, does not figure to be consistent enough to make the Dodgers a high-scoring team.

In the eyes of sports betting experts, the Dodgers do have a strong starting rotation behind staff ace Clayton Kershaw and number two man Chad Billingsley. Having Ted Lilly and Aaron Harang in the middle of the rotation should keep the Dodgers in a lot of ballgames as well. However, the starters on the roster might not get enough help from the bullpen, whose closer, Javy Guerra, is anything but a proven commodity. The starters are going to have to do almost everything for the Dodgers this season, and when one facet of a roster is given the overwhelming share of the burden to perform, that's a recipe for failure.

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this team, you'll find that the Dodgers simply can't be viewed as anything more than a third-place team. The defending division champion Arizona Diamondbacks are a formidable team once again, and the 2010 World Series champion San Francisco Giants will likely challenge them every step of the way. The Giants have big-time starting pitchers and the services of star catcher Buster Posey, who missed most of 2011 with an injury. It would be amazing if the Dodgers even came close to Arizona or San Francisco. Third place is the best this team can reasonably expect in 2012.

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