My preseason NL Cy Young -- and MVP -- pick was the one and only Clayton Kershaw. Prior to his recent back injury, the big lefty was well on his way to accomplishing that feat. The Dodgers still hope his absence will be of the relatively short variety, but the possibility of him not returning at all this season is very real. What would this do to the Los Angeles Dodgers' hopes for postseason success?
Different things make different teams great. From a purely analytical perspective, I like to break things down into a few macro-type categories. How does a team fare in the strikeout and walk categories, on both sides of the ball? What level of contact quality does it create offensively and manage to limit on the mound? How did the team over or underperform compared to the levels suggested by that contact quality? That difference can be attributed in large part to team defense and athleticism.