The Los Angeles Dodgers have money and they aren't afraid to spend it. This has been the case since Frank McCourt sold the team in 2012, but this season their payroll has ballooned to a whopping $272 million, more than $50 million more than any other team.
In the offseason, the Dodgers revamped their middle infield, adding veterans Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins and trading away Dee Gordon. They also traded outfielder Matt Kemp to the Padres for catcher Yasmani Grandal and a pair of pitching prospects.
On the mound, the Dodgers fortified their rotation by adding free agent starters Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson, who will make a combined $22.5 million this season.
Hitters to watch
Headlining the Dodgers' lineup is first baseman and defending National League Player of the Week Adrian Gonzalez. The slugger is currently hitting at a .528/.595/1.111 clip and is tied for the league lead with five home runs. Not to mention he has been a perennial thorn in the Rockies' side with an .862 OPS and 25 home runs in 131 games against Colorado in his career.
No discussion of the Dodgers' offense is complete without discussing right fielder Yasiel Puig. The 24-year-old is off to a slow start by his standards with a .781 OPS in 27 at bats in 2015. Puig has under-performed his career numbers against the Rockies so far, but has to be considered a dangerous bat.
Joining Puig in the Los Angeles outfield is rookie center fielder Joc Pederson, who is off to a fast start in his first full season in the big leagues, hitting .310/.444/.517 in nine games with his first big league home run. The scary part may just be that Pederson turns 23 on Tuesday.
Also to be considered in the LA lineup are Kendrick and Rollins, who provide a veteran presence and are solid if unspectacular hitters at this point in their careers.
2015 Offensive Stats
|Scott Van Slyke||6||11||0||1||2||0||.273||.000||.143||.286||.286||.545||.429||.425||184||0||1||-0.1||0.1|
Pitchers to watch
Well, for one, there's that Clayton Kershaw fellow you may have heard of. The two-time defending Cy Young winner takes the mound against the Rockies Friday. Kershaw has allowed eight earned runs in 12 1/3 innings this year, good for a 5.84 ERA, but with him that is extremely unlikely to last. Kershaw posted a 1.80 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in 434 1/3 innings over the last two seasons, walking 83 and striking out 471. Yeah, he's good.
Following Kershaw on Saturday is veteran right-hander Zack Greinke, who has allowed just one run in 13 innings this season and has a career ERA of 2.29 in 31 starts at Dodger Stadium. In a bit more than two seasons as a Dodger overall, he has an ERA of 2.61 and a 1.12 WHIP.
Sunday's scheduled starter is Brandon McCarthy, who, similarly to Kershaw, has struggled in his first two starts this season. However, he does not have the career track record of the Dodgers' ace.
2015 Pitching Stats
Game 1: Kyle Kendrick vs. Clayton Kershaw
Game 2: Jordan Lyles vs. Zack Greinke
Game 3: Eddie Butler vs. Brandon McCarthy