- The defending National League-champion Los Angeles Dodgers had a 65.4% winning percentage last season
- FanGraphs has the Dodgers pegged at 59.7% for 2020, but a number of sportsbooks have gone substantially higher
- See the win percentages for all MLB teams and analysis on LAD’s over/under
Whenever the 2020 baseball season starts, the Los Angeles Dodgers will once again be the team to beat in the National League.
Winners of the NL pennant in two of the last three seasons, the Dodgers managed to win an NL-high 106 games last year for a 64.5 win percentage. The team came unstuck in the NLDS, but that hasn’t soured oddsmakers on their 2020 outlook.
The 2020 MLB win totals had them going close to 106 again this season. While win totals have now been replaced by win-percentage over/unders, the projections for LAD remain extremely rosy.
2020 MLB Projected Win Percentages
|National League||Win % Over/Under||American League||Win % Over/Under|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||51.5%||Baltimore Orioles||35%|
|Atlanta Braves||56%||Boston Red Sox||52%|
|Chicago Cubs||53%||Chicago White Sox||52%|
|Cincinnati Reds||52%||Cleveland Indians||52.5%|
|Colorado Rockies||45.5%||Detroit Tigers||35%|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||62.5%||Houston Astros||58.5%|
|Miami Marlins||40%||Kansas City Royals||40.5%|
|Milwaukee Brewers||51.5%||Los Angeles Angels||53%|
|New York Mets||53.5%||Minnesota Twins||57%|
|Philadelphia Phillies||52.5%||New York Yankees||62.5%|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||42.5%||Oakland Athletics||55.5%|
|San Diego Padres||51.5%||Seattle Mariners||41.5%|
|San Francisco Giants||42.5%||Tampa Bay Rays||56%|
|St. Louis Cardinals||54%||Texas Rangers||49%|
|Washington Nationals||56%||Toronto Blue Jays||46.5%|
Odds taken 04/21/20.
With seven consecutive division titles to their name, and never a team to stand pat, Los Angeles rolled the dice over the winter, seeing the likes of Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and Hyun-jin Ryu move on, but happily bringing in Mookie Betts, the former American League most valuable player.
The Case For Going Over
In the process of winning seven straight NL West titles, the Dodgers have now made the playoffs seven consecutive times and trail just the New York Yankees (13 seasons) and the Atlanta Braves (14) in consecutive playoff appearances.
But they haven’t just crept over the finishing line during that spell. Since the streak began in 2013, the Dodgers have never won fewer than 91 games, and have averaged 95.9 wins per season, which is the equivalent of a 59.2% win percentage.
The @Dodgers set a franchise record with their 106th win today.
They also finished with 7 straight wins, tying their longest winning streak of the season. pic.twitter.com/GwsdWnlaqs
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) September 29, 2019
The team has really heated up in the last three seasons, coinciding with the emergence of stars such as reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger and new ace Walker Buehler. The Dodgers’ average win total over that span has been 100.1 games per season, making for a win percentage of 62.1%.
Which of these four memorable moments from @buehlersdayoff is your favorite?
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 17, 2020
And they are not about to get worse having added arguably the second-best player in baseball in Betts.
The Case For Going Under
Though the Dodgers are still the class of the NL West, the other teams in the division look set to put up a fight this season. Finishing 21 games back of the Dodgers in second place in 2019, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to try and close the gap this winter.
Madison Bumgarner has consistently delivered. pic.twitter.com/HlQDaaPlq4
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) December 17, 2019
They went out and signed former World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner to a five-year, $85-million contract while also beefing up the outfield by signing Kole Calhoun and trading for Starling Marte. Bookmakers aren’t giving much credence to any revival in the desert, with a win percentage O/U of 51.5%, which works out to 83.43 victories in a 162-game season, less than the 85 the D-Backs picked up last year.
After finishing 36 games back of the Dodgers in last place in the NL West, the San Diego Padres figure to be much improved too. While they will naturally expect more out of star Manny Machado than the career-low .256 batting average he had in 2019, they also made upgrades, adding outfielders Tommy Pham and Trent Grisham, along with bolstering the rotation and bullpen.
Manny Machado took Kershaw deep ? pic.twitter.com/i1vsu8Qyer
— Baseball Scoops (@BaseballScoops) May 4, 2019
Whether those moves help them improve on their 43.2 win percentage from last year remains to be seen, but FanGraphs has them at 51.9% and one book has them at 51.5%, so there is a chance they could be eating into LA’s win total.
That said, whenever this inevitably-shortened season gets going, it’s going to be all hands on deck for every team. The Dodgers won’t be fooling around with putting fatigued pitchers on the IL or resting stars. Take the over.
The Pick: Over 62.5% (-110)
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