Originally written on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections, which have typically appeared in the pages of Baseball Think Factory, are being released at FanGraphs this year. Below are the projections for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Szymborski can be found on Twitter at @DSzymborski. Other 2013 Projections: Angels / Astros / Athletics / Blue Jays / Brewers / Cardinals / Cubs / Diamondbacks / Giants / Mariners / Mets / Nationals / Phillies / Pirates / Rangers / Rays / Reds / Rockies / Royals / Tigers / White Sox. Batters The Dodgers begin 2013 with slightly more than double the payroll of their 2012 opening-day roster. That fact established, it will not surprise the reader to learn that the Dodgers have spent some of that additional money on position players. The club’s highest-paid field player at the start of 2012 was outfielder Andre Ethier, at $10.95 million. As of today, the Dodgers have five batters earning more than that: Adrian Gonzalez ($21.9 million), Carl Crawford ($20.9 million), Matt Kemp ($20.3 million), Hanley Ramirez ($15.5 million), and Ethier himself ($13.5 million).* One would hope — for the sake of order in the universe, if nothing else — that the Dodgers’ financial outlay would correlate to success. In fact, it appears as though it will. The Dodgers produced 20.3 WAR via batting and fielding last season; the squad presented here is probably closer to 25 WAR. To the front office’s credit, there are some values here, as well: Luis Cruz, A.J. Ellis, and Tim Federowicz — all expected to produce like average major leaguers — will combine to make just $3 million in 2013. Figures stolen directly from Cot’s Contracts. Pitchers One good strategy when building a rotation is to have some of the best pitchers on it. Coincidentally, Clayton Kershaw and the recently signed Zack Greinke fit that precise description. Consider, by way of example, this table, which features the best pitchers by total WAR over the past three seasons, including Greinke and Kershaw: Name IP K% GB% BB% FIP- ERA- WAR RA9-Wins Justin Verlander 713.2 24.8% 41.2% 6.6% 71 67 20.3 22.8 Cliff Lee 656.0 24.1% 44.4% 3.4% 69 72 18.7 18.8 Felix Hernandez 715.1 23.3% 51.0% 6.7% 78 76 17.3 17.9 Roy Halladay 640.2 22.2% 49.5% 3.9% 73 74 17.1 19.0 CC Sabathia 675.0 22.4% 48.5% 6.4% 77 75 17.1 17.3 Clayton Kershaw 665.1 25.9% 43.5% 7.4% 75 68 16.7 19.9 Zack Greinke 604.0 23.3% 47.4% 6.2% 79 96 14.2 9.3 Jered Weaver 648.2 22.3% 34.7% 6.0% 84 69 13.9 20.4 David Price 644.0 23.4% 46.9% 7.7% 83 75 13.9 17.8 C.J. Wilson 629.2 20.9% 49.6% 9.8% 85 80 13.3 13.6 Furthermore, there’s this second table. What’s on it? The best one-two pitching tandems of the 21 teams projected by WAR so far, is what. There’s a tie for fifth place, is why there are six total teams. Is it possible that the author has overlooked a better, and already projected, pitching tandem? Yes! But probably not. But also, maybe yes. In any case, Greinke and Kershaw are the best starting pair projected so far. Regard: Team No. 1 WAR No. 2 WAR Total Dodgers Chad Billingsley 6.1 Zack Greinke 4.3 10.4 Tigers Justin Verlander 6.4 Max Scherzer 3.5 9.9 Rangers Yu Darvish 5.7 Matt Harrison 4.1 9.8 Nationals Gio Gonzalez 5.3 Stephen Strasburg 4.2 9.5 Phillies Cliff Lee 4.9 Cole Hamels 4.4 9.3 Reds Johnny Cueto 4.8 Mat Latos 4.5 9.3 Shall we discuss the Dodger bullpen? If we do, it will be difficult to avoid the question of who is their closer and who their closer ought to be. Because “Brandon League” is the former and “Kenley Jansen” is almost certainly the latter. Even last season, which was cut short for him by a kind of frightening heart problem, Jansen pitched 65.0 innings while posting a 67 xFIP- and 1.7 WAR. It may be a non-issue: perhaps as a setup man, Jansen pitches more innings of a similar leverage. As an employee of FanGraphs, though, the author is contractually obligated to make note of sub-optimal bullpen usage. Bench/Prospects Joc Pederson is not, it turns out, a decorated Swedish Olympian from the 1920s, but rather an outfielder in the Dodgers system — one, it also turns out, who profiles as something like an average major-leaguer even as he enters just his age-21 season. Among pitchers, neither Chris Capuano nor Ted Lilly are prospects. What they are, however, is reasonably effective starting pitchers without a spot in the rotation. “What will become of them?” the reader will likely keep himself awake asking tonight. Depth Chart Here’s a rough depth chart for the Dodgers, with rounded projected WAR totals for each player (click to embiggen): Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Credit to MLB Depth Charts for roster information. Batters, Counting Stats Player B Age PO PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS Matt Kemp R 28 CF 577 101 149 27 3 30 101 20 7 Adrian Gonzalez L 31 1B 669 78 170 33 1 26 95 1 0 Hanley Ramirez R 29 SS 595 82 143 25 3 22 82 24 9 Luis Cruz R 29 3B 525 48 132 29 3 9 56 2 2 Andre Ethier L 31 RF 586 76 139 30 1 17 80 2 2 Joc Pederson L 21 CF 589 72 135 25 4 13 72 26 13 Tim Federowicz R 25 C 515 49 108 25 1 8 51 1 1 Carl Crawford L 31 LF 430 57 107 19 7 11 49 21 6 A.J. Ellis R 32 C 383 35 79 14 1 5 42 0 1 Mark Ellis R 36 2B 459 51 105 20 1 6 37 7 3 Alex Castellanos R 26 2B 525 61 113 24 7 12 53 13 6 Juan Uribe R 33 3B 321 33 69 14 1 9 44 1 1 Elian Herrera B 28 SS 502 59 106 18 7 3 43 20 9 Scott Van Slyke R 26 RF 551 63 124 28 3 16 71 6 4 Justin Sellers R 27 SS 333 35 66 15 2 6 30 3 2 Jerry Hairston R 37 2B 289 26 67 14 1 4 27 2 2 Dee Gordon L 25 SS 556 70 133 14 7 1 32 43 15 Nick Punto B 35 3B 227 22 45 8 2 1 15 5 1 Adam Kennedy L 37 2B 273 29 60 13 2 4 26 3 1 Matt Treanor R 37 C 165 16 29 5 1 3 17 1 2 Eliezer Alfonzo R 34 C 190 18 43 7 0 9 26 0 0 Dallas McPherson L 32 3B 384 39 80 16 1 14 46 2 1 Nick Evans R 27 1B 376 41 84 18 1 11 39 1 1 Wilkin Castillo B 29 C 280 26 63 10 2 5 25 5 2 Jesus Flores R 28 C 261 23 55 12 1 6 27 0 1 Osvaldo Martinez R 25 SS 487 51 108 18 3 2 31 8 4 Bobby Abreu L 39 LF 355 36 74 16 1 5 36 11 3 Alfredo Amezaga B 35 SS 284 29 61 9 1 3 28 4 2 Brian Barden R 32 3B 209 19 47 9 1 3 18 1 2 Ramon Castro R 37 C 64 5 13 2 0 3 8 0 0 Skip Schumaker L 33 2B 411 44 97 16 2 2 32 2 2 *** Batters, Rates and Averages Player PA BB% K% ISO BABIP BA OBP SLG wOBA Matt Kemp 577 9.7% 23.4% .240 .338 .291 .362 .531 .367 Adrian Gonzalez 669 9.4% 17.2% .190 .313 .286 .355 .476 .343 Hanley Ramirez 595 8.4% 17.1% .181 .292 .267 .334 .448 .334 Luis Cruz 525 2.9% 12.8% .123 .286 .262 .286 .385 .289 Andre Ethier 586 9.4% 19.6% .160 .311 .267 .343 .427 .327 Joc Pederson 589 8.1% 20.9% .136 .307 .255 .323 .391 .312 Tim Federowicz 515 7.8% 23.3% .110 .292 .232 .294 .342 .279 Carl Crawford 430 5.3% 17.0% .166 .302 .269 .311 .435 .323 A.J. Ellis 383 12.8% 18.3% .097 .300 .248 .355 .345 .303 Mark Ellis 459 6.3% 14.2% .096 .284 .251 .308 .347 .287 Alex Castellanos 525 6.5% 29.0% .156 .321 .238 .302 .394 .301 Juan Uribe 321 6.2% 19.3% .147 .267 .235 .291 .382 .289 Elian Herrera 502 8.0% 25.3% .091 .318 .235 .300 .326 .276 Scott Van Slyke 551 8.0% 23.8% .163 .303 .248 .309 .411 .310 Justin Sellers 333 9.0% 21.0% .127 .274 .227 .304 .354 .286 Jerry Hairston 289 8.7% 11.8% .108 .284 .259 .330 .367 .305 Dee Gordon 556 5.0% 16.9% .060 .311 .257 .299 .317 .275 Nick Punto 227 11.5% 18.1% .077 .286 .232 .320 .309 .279 Adam Kennedy 273 7.3% 16.5% .119 .281 .246 .301 .365 .283 Matt Treanor 165 12.1% 23.6% .116 .265 .210 .319 .326 .281 Eliezer Alfonzo 190 2.1% 28.9% .187 .286 .238 .263 .425 .292 Dallas McPherson 384 6.3% 33.9% .168 .307 .224 .273 .392 .286 Nick Evans 376 7.2% 23.1% .154 .292 .243 .298 .397 .299 Wilkin Castillo 280 2.1% 17.1% .108 .269 .235 .254 .343 .256 Jesus Flores 261 4.6% 25.7% .131 .282 .224 .262 .355 .261 Osvaldo Martinez 487 4.7% 15.6% .067 .282 .238 .281 .305 .258 Bobby Abreu 355 12.7% 21.1% .107 .300 .240 .335 .347 .304 Alfredo Amezaga 284 6.7% 16.9% .076 .274 .234 .286 .310 .263 Brian Barden 209 5.3% 22.5% .103 .303 .244 .288 .347 .276 Ramon Castro 64 7.8% 28.1% .190 .270 .224 .286 .414 .300 Skip Schumaker 411 7.5% 13.6% .070 .298 .259 .315 .329 .282 *** Batters, Assorted Other Player PA RC/27 OPS+ Def WAR No.1 Comp Matt Kemp 577 7.5 144 -5 5.0 Duke Snider Adrian Gonzalez 669 6.4 128 8 4.5 Harold Baines Hanley Ramirez 595 5.6 115 -8 3.3 Miguel Tejada Luis Cruz 525 4.0 84 10 2.0 Alvaro Espinoza Andre Ethier 586 5.4 112 -2 2.0 Lyle Overbay Joc Pederson 589 4.6 97 -1 1.9 Milton Bradley Tim Federowicz 515 3.5 76 5 1.8 Dave Van Gorder Carl Crawford 430 5.2 104 3 1.7 Al Martin A.J. Ellis 383 4.3 96 -1 1.6 Ellie Rodriguez Mark Ellis 459 3.9 81 6 1.5 Cookie Rojas Alex Castellanos 525 4.2 91 -2 1.4 Mike Young Juan Uribe 321 3.9 85 6 1.3 Jason Wood Elian Herrera 502 3.5 74 2 1.3 Bob Meacham Scott Van Slyke 551 4.5 98 1 1.2 Jeremy Slayden Justin Sellers 333 3.7 82 0 1.0 Tony Schrager Jerry Hairston 289 4.3 93 -1 0.8 Jimmie Dykes Dee Gordon 556 3.7 71 -5 0.8 Alex Sanchez Nick Punto 227 3.6 76 4 0.8 Walt Weiss Adam Kennedy 273 4.0 84 -1 0.5 Craig Counsell Matt Treanor 165 3.3 80 1 0.5 Brad Ausmus Eliezer Alfonzo 190 4.0 87 -2 0.4 Joe Oliver Dallas McPherson 384 3.7 82 -4 0.4 Shanie Dugas Nick Evans 376 4.2 91 0 0.3 Bryan Lahair Wilkin Castillo 280 3.1 64 -1 0.3 Tony DeFrancesco Jesus Flores 261 3.2 69 -1 0.3 Chris Curry Osvaldo Martinez 487 3.0 62 -1 0.2 John McDonald Bobby Abreu 355 4.3 90 -4 0.2 J.T. Snow Alfredo Amezaga 284 3.1 66 -2 0.1 Alfredo Griffin Brian Barden 209 3.4 75 -1 0.1 Wes Helms Ramon Castro 64 4.1 91 -2 0.0 Mike Macfarlane Skip Schumaker 411 3.7 79 -7 -0.1 Manny Trillo *** Pitchers, Counting Stats Player T Age G GS IP SO BB HR H R ER Clayton Kershaw L 25 33 33 221.7 233 63 16 173 67 63 Zack Greinke R 29 32 32 203.3 198 50 17 177 75 70 Chad Billingsley R 28 28 28 168.0 143 59 12 159 73 68 Josh Beckett R 33 24 24 150.7 135 46 18 136 66 62 Hyun-jin Ryu L 26 26 25 180.3 169 57 30 167 86 80 Kenley Jansen R 25 62 0 64.3 101 28 5 39 16 15 Chris Capuano L 34 27 24 144.0 118 40 19 141 70 65 Ted Lilly L 37 20 20 111.0 89 32 17 103 54 50 Aaron Harang R 35 24 24 139.7 97 55 15 142 71 66 Brandon League R 30 68 0 67.7 53 23 5 62 28 26 Shawn Tolleson R 25 60 0 63.0 70 25 7 53 27 25 Ronald Belisario R 30 66 0 65.0 56 26 6 58 28 26 Scott Elbert L 27 52 0 40.0 40 16 4 34 16 15 Steve Ames R 25 46 0 51.0 46 15 5 47 21 20 Paco Rodriguez L 22 34 0 26.0 28 12 2 21 10 9 Tim Corcoran R 35 18 13 86.0 57 30 10 92 47 44 Matt Guerrier R 34 45 0 41.0 32 14 4 37 18 17 Javy Guerra R 27 51 0 51.0 41 25 4 48 24 22 Todd Coffey R 32 48 0 42.0 36 16 4 39 19 18 Mike Parisi R 30 8 8 39.0 26 18 5 40 21 20 Chris Reed L 23 9 9 50.0 39 29 5 49 28 26 Blake Hawksworth R 30 27 3 40.0 31 13 5 40 20 19 J.P. Howell L 30 54 0 44.7 40 20 5 41 21 20 Matt Palmer R 34 22 17 97.7 56 49 9 102 56 52 Stephen Fife R 26 26 25 138.0 76 61 15 151 79 74 Angel Guzman R 31 23 0 21.7 15 8 2 22 11 10 Zach Lee R 21 25 25 118.3 79 41 18 126 68 64 Matt Magill R 23 25 23 131.0 102 70 16 133 76 71 Kelvin De La Cruz L 24 27 17 97.3 74 57 12 96 57 53 Lorenzo Barcelo R 35 18 18 114.3 58 23 18 130 67 63 Gregory Infante R 25 40 0 49.3 34 29 4 50 27 25 Chris Withrow R 24 24 15 85.0 72 64 9 81 51 48 Josh Wall R 26 59 0 63.0 49 29 8 62 34 32 Garrett Gould R 21 26 23 117.7 86 57 20 124 75 70 Will Savage R 28 26 22 130.0 57 42 18 154 82 77 Fabio Castro L 28 26 17 96.7 74 60 13 104 64 60 Juan Abreu R 28 48 0 54.3 57 42 11 53 39 36 Rob Rasmussen L 24 26 25 126.7 86 82 21 137 87 81 *** Pitchers, Rates and Averages Player IP TBF K% BB% BABIP ERA FIP ERA- FIP- Clayton Kershaw 221.7 901 25.9% 7.0% .269 2.56 2.78 69 75 Zack Greinke 203.3 837 23.7% 6.0% .282 3.10 3.03 83 81 Chad Billingsley 168.0 722 19.8% 8.2% .293 3.64 3.43 98 92 Josh Beckett 150.7 634 21.3% 7.3% .275 3.70 3.83 99 103 Hyun-jin Ryu 180.3 765 22.1% 7.5% .273 3.99 4.32 107 116 Kenley Jansen 64.3 260 38.9% 10.8% .277 2.10 2.36 56 63 Chris Capuano 144.0 613 19.2% 6.5% .282 4.06 4.00 109 108 Ted Lilly 111.0 468 19.0% 6.8% .265 4.05 4.40 109 118 Aaron Harang 139.7 616 15.7% 8.9% .285 4.25 4.24 114 114 Brandon League 67.7 288 18.4% 8.0% .277 3.46 3.42 93 92 Shawn Tolleson 63.0 267 26.2% 9.4% .284 3.57 3.60 96 97 Ronald Belisario 65.0 279 20.1% 9.3% .278 3.60 3.77 97 101 Scott Elbert 40.0 170 23.5% 9.4% .275 3.38 3.52 91 95 Steve Ames 51.0 215 21.4% 7.0% .288 3.53 3.57 95 96 Paco Rodriguez 26.0 111 25.2% 10.8% .279 3.12 3.21 84 86 Tim Corcoran 86.0 380 15.0% 7.9% .295 4.60 4.43 124 119 Matt Guerrier 41.0 174 18.4% 8.0% .268 3.73 3.75 100 101 Javy Guerra 51.0 226 18.1% 11.1% .286 3.88 3.92 104 105 Todd Coffey 42.0 181 19.9% 8.8% .285 3.86 3.76 104 101 Mike Parisi 39.0 175 14.9% 10.3% .285 4.62 5.04 124 135 Chris Reed 50.0 228 17.1% 12.7% .289 4.68 4.76 126 128 Blake Hawksworth 40.0 173 17.9% 7.5% .282 4.28 4.07 115 109 J.P. Howell 44.7 195 20.5% 10.3% .283 4.03 4.17 108 112 Matt Palmer 97.7 444 12.6% 11.0% .287 4.79 4.84 129 130 Stephen Fife 138.0 626 12.1% 9.7% .292 4.83 4.91 130 132 Angel Guzman 21.7 95 15.8% 8.4% .289 4.15 4.15 111 112 Zach Lee 118.3 522 15.1% 7.9% .287 4.87 4.90 131 132 Matt Magill 131.0 596 17.1% 11.7% .293 4.88 4.91 131 132 Kelvin De La Cruz 97.3 445 16.6% 12.8% .283 4.90 5.09 132 137 Lorenzo Barcelo 114.3 496 11.7% 4.6% .288 4.96 4.94 133 133 Gregory Infante 49.3 227 15.0% 12.8% .293 4.56 4.66 122 125 Chris Withrow 85.0 400 18.0% 16.0% .288 5.08 5.18 136 139 Josh Wall 63.0 280 17.5% 10.4% .284 4.57 4.76 123 128 Garrett Gould 117.7 534 16.1% 10.7% .286 5.35 5.45 144 146 Will Savage 130.0 586 9.7% 7.2% .295 5.33 5.15 143 138 Fabio Castro 96.7 454 16.3% 13.2% .303 5.59 5.36 150 144 Juan Abreu 54.3 258 22.1% 16.3% .294 5.96 6.12 160 164 Rob Rasmussen 126.7 599 14.4% 13.7% .289 5.76 6.00 155 161 *** Pitchers, Assorted Other Player IP K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA+ WAR No. 1 Comp Clayton Kershaw 221.7 9.46 2.56 0.65 145 6.1 Barry Zito Zack Greinke 203.3 8.77 2.21 0.75 120 4.3 Bob Welch Chad Billingsley 168.0 7.66 3.16 0.64 102 2.4 Jim Beattie Josh Beckett 150.7 8.06 2.75 1.07 100 2.1 Kevin Appier Hyun-jin Ryu 180.3 8.44 2.85 1.50 93 1.8 Matt Beech Kenley Jansen 64.3 14.14 3.92 0.70 177 1.5 Jose Valverde Chris Capuano 144.0 7.38 2.50 1.19 91 1.3 Darrell May Ted Lilly 111.0 7.22 2.59 1.38 91 1.0 Paul Splittorff Aaron Harang 139.7 6.25 3.54 0.97 87 1.0 Mike Torrez Brandon League 67.7 7.05 3.06 0.66 107 0.5 Mark Ross Shawn Tolleson 63.0 10.00 3.57 1.00 104 0.4 Fernando Cabrera Ronald Belisario 65.0 7.75 3.60 0.83 103 0.4 Marc Wilkins Scott Elbert 40.0 9.00 3.60 0.90 110 0.3 Tim Young Steve Ames 51.0 8.12 2.65 0.88 105 0.3 Randy St. Claire Paco Rodriguez 26.0 9.69 4.15 0.69 119 0.3 Luke Walker Tim Corcoran 86.0 5.97 3.14 1.05 81 0.2 Shawn Boskie Matt Guerrier 41.0 7.02 3.07 0.88 99 0.2 Steve Bedrosian Javy Guerra 51.0 7.24 4.41 0.71 96 0.1 Marc Pisciotta Todd Coffey 42.0 7.71 3.43 0.86 96 0.1 Jason Childers Mike Parisi 39.0 6.00 4.15 1.15 80 0.1 Carlos Chantres Chris Reed 50.0 7.02 5.22 0.90 79 0.1 Phil Dumatrait Blake Hawksworth 40.0 6.98 2.93 1.13 87 0.1 Jim Czajkowski J.P. Howell 44.7 8.05 4.03 1.01 92 0.0 Tim Young Matt Palmer 97.7 5.16 4.51 0.83 77 0.0 Ken Hill Stephen Fife 138.0 4.96 3.98 0.98 77 0.0 Ken Pumphrey Angel Guzman 21.7 6.22 3.32 0.83 89 0.0 Mike Barlow Zach Lee 118.3 6.01 3.12 1.37 76 -0.1 James Shields Matt Magill 131.0 7.01 4.81 1.10 76 -0.1 Randy Veres Kelvin De La Cruz 97.3 6.84 5.27 1.11 76 -0.2 Jim Crowell Lorenzo Barcelo 114.3 4.57 1.81 1.42 75 -0.2 Tim Kester Gregory Infante 49.3 6.21 5.29 0.73 81 -0.3 Ken Wright Chris Withrow 85.0 7.62 6.78 0.95 73 -0.3 Mike Dowless Josh Wall 63.0 7.00 4.14 1.14 81 -0.4 Tony Dougherty Garrett Gould 117.7 6.58 4.36 1.53 69 -0.8 Stacy Hollins Will Savage 130.0 3.95 2.91 1.25 70 -0.8 Kyle Middleton Fabio Castro 96.7 6.89 5.58 1.21 66 -1.0 Steve Smyth Juan Abreu 54.3 9.45 6.96 1.82 62 -1.3 Darren Hall Rob Rasmussen 126.7 6.11 5.82 1.49 64 -1.5 Tom Singer *** Disclaimer: ZiPS projections are computer-based projections of performance. Performances have not been allocated to predicted playing time in the majors — many of the players listed above are unlikely to play in the majors at all in 2012. ZiPS is projecting equivalent production — a .240 ZiPS projection may end up being .280 in AAA or .300 in AA, for example. Whether or not a player will play is one of many non-statistical factors one has to take into account when predicting the future. Players are listed with their most recent teams unless Dan has made a mistake. This is very possible as a lot of minor-league signings are generally unreported in the offseason. ZiPS is projecting based on the AL having a 4.09 ERA and the NL having a 3.92 ERA. Players that are expected to be out due to injury are still projected. More information is always better than less information and a computer isn’t what should be projecting the injury status of, for example, a pitcher with Tommy John surgery. Regarding ERA+ vs. ERA- (and FIP+ vs. FIP-) and the differences therein: as Patriot notes here, they are not simply mirror images of each other. Writes Patriot: “ERA+ does not tell you that a pitcher’s ERA was X% less or more than the league’s ERA. It tells you that the league’s ERA was X% less or more than the pitcher’s ERA.” Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected WAR.
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