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Series Preview: Brewers versus Dodgers

I'm going to try out a new feature here at BCB, at least until I get tired of it.  Which, given my track record with new features...eh, we'll see.

The Brewers are opening up the season outside of the division, playing a home series against the Dodgers.  I know there are many BCBers going to the game today, and for those of us who are a 20-hour drive away, I expect a full report.  

The games:

The Dodgers were 88-74 last year, finishing 2nd to the Padres in the West (they had the same record, but the Padres won more head-to-head games) and losing to the Mets in the Division Series.  In other words, they're on a losing streak.

LA, of course, massively retooled this offseason, resigning Nomar Garciaparra and bringing in Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf, Juan Pierre,  Luis Gonzalez, and the final piece of the puzzle: Brady Clark.  I can't imagine we'll see much Brady, as he may get even fewer at-bats with the Dodgers than he would've had he stayed with us, but we'll see plenty of Juan Pierre.  

While Ned Colletti may have hurt the Dodgers' long term chances by signing guys like Schmidt and Pierre to long-term deals while trading away prospects for the likes of Mark Hendrickson, the Dodgers are a formidable team this year.  Unlike most casual fans, I'm not scared by Pierre at the top of the order, but they do have a solid attack throughout the rest of the order with guys like Garciaparra, Rafael Furcal, and Jeff Kent.  (And Brady Clark.)

Here's what some Dodgers bloggers have to say about their team:

  • True Blue LA: What could go right (and needs to go right) for the Dodgers in 2007.

  • Dodger Thoughts: Matt Kemp made the roster, which may cut into Andre Ethier's time.  Incidentally, at a Baseball Prospectus event a couple of weekends ago, someone asked the assembled writers which was the worst signing of the offseason.  Everyone said "Juan Pierre" almost in unison.  What's bad isn't so much the money (though that's awful) but that Matt Kemp is the Dodgers center fielder of the future, and would be ready in 2008, if not sooner.  It'd be like the Brewers signing Shea Hillenbrand to a four-year deal to play third base--only worse, because I don't think anyone doubts Kemp's ability to play center.

  • 6-4-2: Rob McMillan evaluates BP's projections for the Dodgers.
Perhaps needless to say, thinking this much about the Dodgers only emphasizes one thing: the Brewers will sweep this series.