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Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Tips – National League Preview: Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 3/6/2013 6:25:52 PM

NFL betting experts who don't devote a lot of attention to big-league baseball might think that in baseball, unlike the more revenue-balanced NFL, money automatically wins world championships. However, this isn't quite true. A lot of the recent World Series champions in Major League Baseball have not had a top-five payroll. The San Francisco Giants in 2010 and 2012 were not in the top five in terms of payroll, and neither were the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals. Four of the past five World Series champions have ranked outside the top five in payroll, with the 2009 New York Yankees being the exception.

Yet, there's another side to the payroll argument. Top-15 teams in terms of payroll make up the vast majority of playoff teams each season. Teams outside the top 15, such as the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, are not the norm in this industry. You generally do need to spend some money to put a good product on the field.

Where does this put the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2013? It should definitely put them in the playoffs, but how far will this team go if it gets to the playoffs? That's the real question for the boys in Dodger Blue.

The betting websites that are scrutinizing lineups and pitching staffs in the month of March will find it hard to believe that the Dodgers will win fewer than 92 or 93 games this season. Los Angeles has committed over $230,000,000 in salary after raiding the Boston Red Sox last summer and then making some offseason acquisitions as well.
The Dodgers threw dollars left and right at big-name players last summer and continued to do so in the offseason. Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, Hanley Ramirez, and Zack Greinke are all on board for this season, a clear reflection of the Dodgers' owners to put a championship product on the field. Anything less than an appearance in the National League Championship Series would be a definite disappointment for the Dodgers this season.

Perhaps Los Angeles doesn't have to win the division in the wild card era, but with really good teams – Washington, Atlanta and Philadelphia – in the National League East, the Dodgers do not want to take their chances if they finish second in the N.L. West.

Yet, for all the ways in which Los Angeles has beefed up its batting order – which had a lot of holes in it last season – one cannot guarantee top-of-the-line production. It is possible that the Dodgers' bats won't perk up this season, because even after the big trade was made with Boston last August – bringing Gonzalez and an injured Crawford to L.A. – this team didn't hit. Los Angeles was killed in the wild card race by an eight-game stretch in which the Dodgers lost seven times. The Dodgers scored a total of 14 runs in those eight games.

Yet, even if a baseball expert has doubts about L.A.'s hitting prowess, it is impossible to deny this team's pitching chops. Proven arms crowd this starting rotation, which is why this team will be hard to beat in 2013. Los Angeles pitchers could flourish in online poker, because they know how to deal a mean set of cards. You've already noticed that Beckett and Greinke are in the rotation. Yet, neither man is the best pitcher on the staff – that distinction belongs to yearly Cy Young contender Clayton Kershaw, one of the elite young pitchers in the sport. The back end of the rotation is comprised of Chad Billingsley and Chris Capuano.

If Billingsley is your number-four starter and Capuano is your number five, you're in very good shape with respect to your rotation. The bullpen is a concern, however, with Ronald Belisario and Brandon League being asked to hold leads late in games. These are not the best shutdown pitchers in the majors, but they might be asked to get a lot of saves and holds in the eighth and ninth innings. All in all, though, a powerful lineup and five quality starters should get the Dodgers into October.

How this team handles the heat of postseason baseball will determine how successful this campaign will be for the highest-paid roster in the history of Major League Baseball.

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