ESPN Chalk's Joe Peta is sharing his season win total projections for every MLB team, including a reason for optimism and pessimism. Plus, he recommends an over/under play, or a pass. This is the entry for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Reason for optimism: Strength of schedule differences may hide it by season's end, but the Dodgers (not the Nationals) have the best team in baseball.
Reason for pessimism: Neither Pittsburgh nor Chicago may be good enough to keep St. Louis from the playoffs.
Is it even possible that a team with the largest payroll in baseball history (over $272 million, per Cot's Contracts) coming off two straight division titles while averaging 93 wins a year, and in possession of the most dominant starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez, could possibly be overlooked and underrated entering the 2015 season? It looks that way due to a variety of factors:
1) The Dodgers reside in the division of the San Francisco Giants, a team that's won the World Series crown three times in the past five seasons -- including in 2014.