Scratch That: The Dodgers Are Once Again World Series Favorites
UPDATE: There are now reports saying the Latos deal is not yet complete.
Earlier today, an article by our own John Stolnis revealed that, with Ben Zobrist, the Kansas City Royals were now the favorites -- per our algorithm -- to win the World Series.
That changed today. Because of Mat Latos.
No, it's not because Latos is a stud pitcher who's going to all of a sudden be a dominant number-three guy behind LA's dynamic duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. It mostly has to do with the fact that the Dodgers were really close in World Series odds with the Royals after the Zobrist deal (17.38% versus 17.12%), and this simply forced a change in positions (18.12% versus 17.40%).
I don't mean to diminish the impact this signing has though. The Dodgers have needed some depth in their rotation, and Latos has been a lot better than his 4.48 ERA dictates. His FIP is a strong 3.34, while his xFIP is 3.55. Meanwhile, his strikeouts (8.05) and walks (2.55) per nine innings are almost identical to his career averages.
Both Brett Anderson and Mike Bolsinger have been serviceable in the rotation with similar Fielding Independent Pitching totals as Latos, but the Dodgers currently have MLB newcomer Zach Lee in the rotation, who gave up seven runs in his big league debut. Getting Latos gives them an average arm, and one that ranks similarly within our nERD metric for pitchers. And, actually, per our numbers, Latos has been above average.
Just don't think the Dodgers are done altering their rotation though.
If that happens...watch out.