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MLB Los Angeles Dodgers

Opening Day 2014: Los Angeles Dodgers Season Outlook

Opening Day 2014: Los Angeles Dodgers Season Outlook

Dodger Season Outlook
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the 2013 season as favorites to appear in the World Series, mainly due their fantasy baseball looking lineup. Well heading into July, the Dodgers shockingly sat five games under .500 and last in the division.
The team would catch fire and win 54 of their final 81 games to finish 92-70 with a division title and appearance in the NLCS. Seemingly even more loaded in 2014, the expectations are once again high.

Top 5 Hitters

Hanley Ramirez
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Hitters

Dodgers Hanley Ramirez
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

1. Hanley Ramirez
2. Adrian Gonzalez
3. Matt Kemp
4. Yasiel Puig
5. Carl Crawford

This lineup is almost unfair on paper, but as the Dodgers' early 2013 struggles proved, on paper doesn't win you games. Kemp, when healthy, is a dangerous player and the team hopes to have his services in 2014 after the former MVP candidate has missed 145 games over the past two seasons. How Yasiel Puig performs in his sophomore season will mean a lot to this club.

Top 5 Pitchers

Dodgers Clayton Kershaw
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Pitchers

Dodgers Clayton Kershaw
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Zack Greinke
3. Hyun-Jin Ryu
4. Kelly Jansen
5. Brian Wilson

Obviously Kershaw is the cream of the crop, not only in Los Angeles but in all of baseball. Greinke and Ryu combined with Kershaw make up arguably the best rotation trio in the game. Jansen is one of the top closers in the league, and Wilson proved last season that he can still miss bats at a high rate. He'll be a great asset in the eighth inning for this club.

Top 5 Newcomers

Dodgers Dan Haren
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Newcomers

Dodgers Dan Haren
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dan Haren
2. Alexander Guerrero
3. Chone Figgins
4. Chris Perez
5. Jamey Wright

The Dodgers spent money this offseason, but more on Clayton Kershaw's extension than free agents. SP Dan Haren and 2B Alex Guerrero were their big acquisitions, with Haren being most notable. Haren has struggled in recent seasons but has looked sharp this spring. A Haren return to form is key, as the rotation depth is very shallow beyond the rotation's top three.

Top 5 Rookies/Prospects

Joc Pederson
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Top 5 Rookies/Prospects

Dodgers Joc Pederson
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

1. Alex Guerrero
2. Joc Pederson
3. Zach Lee
4. Chris Withrow
5. Julio Urias

When you build a team around acquiring high salary veterans, the farm system is bound to suffer -- and the Dodgers' system has done just that. While there are Dodgers prospects ranked higher than some on this list, these five have the best chance of contributing in 2014. Guerrero should take over at second before long and have the biggest impact of the group.

Final Record/Divisional Standing Prediction

Dodger Stadium
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Final Record/Divisional Standing Prediction

Dodger Stadium
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers proved that acquiring a bunch of All-Star talent doesn't automatically equal a championship. The team turned a very slow 2013 start into 92 wins, but if the team can avoid another slow start in 2014, I see a 100-62 record and a repeat as division champions in their future.