2007 Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Preview

First-time GM Ned Colletti, who was brought in mid-November before the 2006 season, had to quickly take charge. Grady Little was hired as skipper and, taking advantage of a soft free agent market and a deep farm system, the Los Angeles Dodgers (88- 74) finished second in the NL West and got to the playoffs.

The pitching staff is first-rate, with RHP Jason Schmidt (11- 9, 3.59 ERA) being added and replacing Greg Maddux. Next in line are righties Derek Lowe (16- 8, 3.63 ERA) and Brad Penny (16- 9, 4.33 ERA)-- both of whom were quality performers. Lefty Randy Wolf has also been added, but he has not had a healthy season since 2003. Closer Takashi Saito (6- 2, 2.07 ERA, 24 SV) was a standout and the rest of the pen is good.

With a .276 team batting average, the Dodgers were tops in the NL and with 153 homers, they were next to last in that category. Expect the same this season. They were fourth in runs—so they can produce wins like Maddux can produce baseball handicapping winners.

Here’s what they have—shortstop Rafael Furcal (.300 AVG, 63 RBI, 15 HR), first baseman Nomar Garciaparra (.303 AVG, 93 RBI, 20 HR), second baseman Jeff Kent (.292 AVG, 68 RBI, 14 HR), catcher Russel Martin (.282 AVG, 65 RBI, 10 HR) and right fielder Andre Ethier (.308 AVG, 55 RBI, 11 HR). Add outfielders Juan Pierre (.292 AVG, 40 RBI, 3 HR) from the Cubs and Luis Gonzalez (.308 AVG, 55 RBI, 11 HR) from the Diamondbacks and this team can hit.

Overall the defense is solid but needs to do bit better when handling the ball (11th T in NL for errors). Rookie catcher Martin proved to be a mature presence behind the plate.

Manager Little is a player’s coach who knows how to motivate his troops. With Colletti as GM, Little should continue the good vibes of last season.

With an upgraded team, Los Angeles should contend for the World Series. Sure they lack a true home run hitter, but everything else seems in place. A future bet on the Dodgers may well be worth it and could be considered some smart baseball gambling getting a price at 15-1 or better.

Read more on the Dodgers other NL West division competitors like the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, Colorado Rockies, and San Francisco Giants.

For more info on the Dodgers check out the MLB official page for Los Angeles.


2007 MLB Preview

All 30 MLB teams are covered in our annual 2007 MLB season preview from Maddux Sports. We have broken down the teams into the divisions the play in. To find the baseball preview of your favorite team click on the division they play in and read up on our division predictions as well as individual MLB team previews. Click here to return to the current baseball preview page.

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