Who's excited about the M's '14 season? Anyone? ... Anyone? (Getty)
We continue our series of MLB fantasy previews, wherein we consider 4-5 key questions surrounding each team. Baseball is coming, gamers. Pitchers and catchers report soon. Fantasy owners report immediately...
The Los Angeles Dodgers head into '14 on the upswing. After winning the NL West in '13 – the third time in the past six years that it has accomplished that feat (losing in the NLCS each of those seasons) – LA sits as a frontrunner to claim World Series hardware this upcoming season. In fact, the general consensus in Las Vegas has the Dodgers as the favorite to win it all. The Yahoo sports baseball crew likes the St. Louis Cardinals as the top team for '14, but lists the Dodgers at No. 2 overall in its preseason countdown of MLB top teams.
[Baseball 2014 from Yahoo! Fantasy Sports: Join a league today!]
Of course, for our purposes here, we don't care about wins and loses. We only care about individual statistics, and in that department, there should be no shortage of fantasy production to mine from this SoCal roster. Based on average live draft data from Yahoo, so far, four Dodgers players can be expected to come off the board among the top 50 selections, including three in the top 30. And that doesn't include closer Kenley Jansen, who had the fourth-highest K/9 rate (min. 50 IP) in MLB last season (13.03). With a full season opportunity ahead as the Dodgers' stopper, you could make the argument that he deserves to be the No. 1 closer selected (though Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel probably makes a slightly better case). And also not in that top 50 mix is outfielder Matt Kemp, who has proven his No. 1 overall upside in the virtual setting when he's been able to stay healthy. Of course, his health is a huge question mark these days. No doubt, it's the most Pressing Question for this team as it gears up for a World Series run in '14. Let's start with a deeper dive into Kemp's situation.