By Daniel Reveles on March 22, 2014
The Los Angeles Dodgers are poised to do huge things in 2014. The sky is the limit for this team, and their Opening Day lineup is just one example of how great they are. There are some issues with the lineup, but all in all, the Dodgers have a championship quality starting nine.
There's no other pitcher in baseball you'd rather have on your team than Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw had a rough Spring Training, but expect him to turn it on tonight/this morning when he makes his first start of the regular season. The only question mark about Kershaw's 2014 season is if he will add a third Cy Young Award to his collection.
What AJ Ellis lacks in offensive ability, he more than makes up for with his defensive prowess. Ellis is one of the best game callers in all of baseball, and will be key in the Dodgers' success this season.
Andre Ethier resumes the role he had for much of last year, playing center field for the injury ridden Matt Kemp. Ethier is the key to the Dodgers' success this season. If he's playing at his best, he is one of the most clutch and consistent hitters in baseball. The Dodgers will be championship favorites if Ethier returns to his 2010 form.
While Juan Uribe isn't one of the best third basemen in the game, his lovable personality and ability to boost the locker room's morale make him one of the Dodgers' most valuable players. Uribe should have a solid 2014 campaign, but nothing to write home about. Dodger fans should be happy that he was re-signed this offseason.
Scott Van Slyke will likely only enjoy sporadic playing time this season. Van Slyke is only getting the start in Australia due to Carl Crawford staying in the United States to wait for the birth of his next child. Van Slyke will still be a great power bat off the bench for the Dodgers this year.
Adrian Gonzalez is without a doubt the most consistent player in the Dodgers's lineup. He's one of the best first basemen in baseball, and will be a valuable asset for the Dodgers going forward. Without Gonzalez, the Dodgers would be in serious trouble.
Much of the Dodgers' success this season lies on the shoulders of Hanley Ramirez. To be quite frank, there isn't another player on this team any Dodger fan would rather have that responsibility fall to. Ramirez is great at the plate, and a good enough defender at shortstop. If he can have a repeat of the 2013 season, the Dodgers will be in great shape.
The Dodgers will be facing off against left-handed pitcher Wade Miley to open their season, resulting in Turner getting the opening day nod. Second base will undoubtedly be the Dodgers' weak point this season, but a platoon between Turner and Gordon should work well for the most part.
Yasiel Puig will be the lead-off hitter for the Dodgers when they face left handed opposition. Puig had minor success batting lead-off last year, but if he's able to clean up a few mistakes he makes in his pitch selection, he could be the Dodgers' next great lead-off hitter.
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