There were two big reasons behind the decision to carry extra pitching. First, the Dodgers starters aren’t as stretched out as they would be in a normal year

Each of them are expected to pitch at least 4-5 innings the first time through the rotation. But even that would leave extra innings for the bullpen.

The second reason can be explained in two words: Coors Field. Once the new schedule put the Dodgers season-opener at the Colorado Rockies’ high-elevation home ballpark

Teams can never have enough pitching during trips to Denver. The Dodgers, who gave up 52 runs in 10 games at Coors Field last year, know better than most.

The easy prediction first: The Dodgers will make the playoffs, especially now that more teams make the playoffs. But will they win the division?

On paper, to me, last year’s team was better because they had a deeper starting rotation. They have basically exchanged Bauer/Max Scherzer for Heaney,

They lose the bat of AJ Pollock and become weaker defensively in left field. They basically traded Kenley Jansen for Kimbrel, which at best will be a wash.

if Bellinger hits like he did last season and in spring training, the Dodgers still effectively have a pitcher hitting in the lineup.