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MLB: Can Freeman take LA Dodgers to World Series glory?

Freddie Freeman MLB betting news

The wait is finally over – Freddie Freeman has signed.

Freeman, 32, reached an agreement early Thursday morning with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a deal worth $162 million over six years.

Freeman made his Major League Baseball debut in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves. He would go on to appear in five All Star games, win an MVP and three silver slugger awards in 11 years with the Braves. Freeman became a staple in Atlanta and it was shocking to see him reach free agency in the first place. After winning the Braves first World Series Championship since 1995, it seemed as if Freeman had reached his ultimate goal in Atlanta and looked to move back home to the West Coast. Freeman is a California native, growing up about an hour south of Dodger Stadium, a stadium that he will now call home.

The Braves remained in the mix for Freeman but when big market teams like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox begin to open their wallets and bid against each other smaller market teams like Atlanta fall by the wayside. Freeman is a heck of a player, but giving a six year contract to a player entering his age 33 season is a risky move for any organization. Freeman will certainly be a big addition for this year and next year but it is all a question of how he will age. If Freeman ages well there will be nothing to worry about, but should we see a dip in production in the next couple of years, it’s a tough ask for a team like the Braves to take that hit in the later years from a financial perspective.

With that being said, the Dodgers will pay Freeman into his upper 30’s at a fair rate of about $27 million per season. The addition of Freeman is massive and as if there was any question that the Dodgers were the team to beat in the MLB, it is now certain. They are currently +550 to win the World Series at Bovada, and the next closest team is the Houston Astros at +1000.

The Dodgers failed to capture the NL West crown last season despite finishing the year 106-56, the second best record in the entire league. The San Francisco Giants were the surprise team to beat with a 107-55 record but heading into this year it’s not likely the Giants can strike lightning in a bottle twice. Adding a bat with Freeman’s ability to hit for a perfect combination of average and power he will slide perfectly into the middle of a deep Dodgers lineup.

The potential Dodgers lineup will look something like this:

  • Mookie Betts, CF
  • Trea Turner, SS
  • Freddie Freeman, 1B
  • Will Smith, C
  • Max Muncy, 2B
  • Justin Turner, 3B
  • Cody Bellinger, RF
  • Chris Taylor, CF
  • AJ Pollock, DH

This lineup consists of four players from last year’s All Star game – Betts, Turner, Freeman and Muncy. These four in the same lineup will create perhaps the most dynamic lineup in the entire MLB and maybe in history.

The Dodgers are heavy favorites with the top betting sites, as they should be. No team looks as loaded as Los Angeles does on paper. With players like Gavin Lux waiting in the minors, they can even handle the ebbs and flows of a 162 MLB game season as players miss time.

A key factor in how the Dodgers will fair this season will certainly be their starting rotation. Walker Buhler and Julio Urias should be mainstays at the top of the Dodger rotation but from there on out it gets dicey. Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney are scheduled to be their fourth and fifth starters as we currently stand. Clayton Kershaw is still a serviceable arm, but entering his age 34 season it’s unfair to expect him to play the same role that he has in years past. Lastly, Trevor Bauer is perhaps the biggest question mark in the entire league.

After some pretty serious allegations, Bauer was suspended last season after only appearing in 17 games with the Dodgers. When he was available, Bauer was pretty good. He pitched to a 2.59 ERA and a 1.003 WHIP across 107.2 innings before being shut down for the remainder of the season. Coming off his Cy Young Award season, it was nice to see Bauer replicate some of the magic that he found during his time in Cincinnati but Bauer this year is a question mark. Bauer was not criminally charged and should be back at some point this season but it’s still unclear if he will get suspended this season and if he does how long that suspension will be for. If the Dodgers can get some solid innings out of Gonsolin, Heaney and Kershaw it might not matter what happens with Bauer.

Despite all the crazy lineup combinations, starting rotation and shut down bullpen, it still should be considered that the Dodgers have had high expectations for a long time now and have only managed to squeak out one World Series win and it was in a shortened 2020 season where they only played 60 regular season games. It just goes to show truly how hard it is to win a championship in today’s MLB and with expanded playoffs this year, it will make it that much harder. If there is any team up to that task it should be the Dodgers who look to have an all time roster heading into 2022 thanks to the addition of Freeman.

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