(Guys, this is a guest article written by one of our new partners. I did not write this piece. However it’s still a good read. You may be seeing some more guest articles from out partners in the coming weeks. If you are interested in online sports betting, please check out the link below.)
With the start of the 2016 MLB season around the corner, teams are trying to figure out which starting rotation and lineup will give them the best chance to win during the season. The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have won the NL West the last three years, are one of the teams still trying to figure out the best rotation to use. Even though the Dodgers lost one of their best pitchers during the offseason, they still have the best online MLB sports betting odds of winning the NL West.
So far, the Dodgers haven’t settled on the rotation they will use this season. Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young Award winner will remain the team’s Ace, but after Kershaw, it is anyone’s guess. For the past few seasons, Zack Greinke was the number two pitcher in the Dodgers rotation. Greinke left the Dodgers to sign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, leaving the number two spot in Los Angeles open.
Hyun-Jin Ryu was projected to be the number four pitcher in the Dodgers rotation, but he is still recovering from shoulder surgery from last season and isn’t expected back in the rotation until May.
With Ryu still on the mend, it seems like Alex Wood will be given an opportunity to earn a spot in the team’s rotation. The Dodgers gave Wood a spring training start on Monday, but he allowed two homeruns in the first inning against the Indians. Wood will have to pitch better if he wants to earn a spot in the team’s rotation.
Wood is currently projected to get the 4th spot in the rotation as long as he doesn’t implode during spring training and doesn’t get outperformed by other pitchers before the season starts.
So far, Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, and Kenta Maeda have looked impressive during spring training and are a lock for three of the five spots in the rotation. If Wood earns the fourth spot, it would mean that Zach Lee and Jose De Leon who have both also impressed during spring training, will be competing for the fifth and final spot in the rotation.
Dave Roberts, who is going into his first season as the manager of the Dodgers, said he was pleased with his team’s pitching depth. He said that fans shouldn’t read much into the spring training performances of players like Wood and Kazmir because spring training just started and he doesn’t expect everyone to be very sharp or have great command of their pitches at this point.
Mike Bolsinger and Brandon Beachy are both behind Wood and Kazmir in the pitching rotation right now, but that could change soon because both pitchers have pitched two scoreless innings respectively and have looked sharper than Wood so far. If they continue playing well in spring training, they could be able to earn a spot in the rotation.
Wood, who is working on some changes to his mechanics, said it felt good to be out on the mound after suffering from a foot issue that caused problems for him at the end of last season. Wood acknowledged that he has seen some improvement, but also vowed not to take things for granted if he earns a spot in the rotation.