The big news with the Dodgers, of course, is the addition of Mookie Betts. The trade now gives them a pair of MVP winners in Betts and Cody Bellinger and adds further depth to an already-stout lineup. Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and A.J. Pollock join them to make a lineup that rivals what the Astros would counter with.
Their rotation is headlined by the young phenom Walker Buehler and the veteran Clayton Kershaw. They don’t have the same depth they have had in recent seasons, but David Price is a solid No. 3 with Julio Urias, Alex Wood and Jimmy Nelson competing to round things out. They also have prospect Dustin May waiting in the wings as added depth.
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The top of the Astros’ rotation in Verlander and Greinke probably has an edge over Buehler and Kershaw. McCullers and Price are both solid in their respective spots. But the Dodgers have better depth at the back of the rotation, with a couple of solid veterans mixed in with a couple of high-upside youngsters.
The bullpens each have their question marks. Kenley Jansen is still one of the game’s best closers, but there’s less certainty beyond that. Blake Treinen and Joe Kelly have plenty of upside but are both coming off poor seasons. Adam Kolarek and Pedro Baez put up solid numbers in the regular season last year but aren’t relied upon heavily in the playoffs.
Health permitting, the Astros know what they’re getting in Osuna, Pressly and Smith, so in that sense they may have an edge. But it’s hard to tell at this point which bullpen is better simply because there’s a lot to be worked out as the season goes on. Each team has to figure out who it can trust the most, and there’s not much certainty there right now.
So the offenses are probably a wash and the bullpens are too close to call. The Dodgers probably have a slight edge in the starting rotation, so it’s no wonder their odds are better. Plus they have more than enough star power. But the Astros are one of the few teams that could match up well against them, so we’ll see if the two end up meeting in the World Series.