I have programmed up my simulator with the 2012 schedule and all of the updated trades and free agent signings (well at least the most significant ones). Still a little house keeping to do on updating my park factors and defensive ratings. Here is a preliminary look at how the simulator likes the 2012 Dodgers, including how it thinks the Dodgers will do on a month by month basis and which starting pitchers will have the most success.
Well, from the looks of this the Dodgers will be right around a .500 team. No real big surprise there as the team has lost one of its better starting pitchers in Hiroki Kuroda. NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw and MVP runner-up Matt Kemp will be hard pressed to repeat their 2011 performances, but the Dodgers should offset their regression with full seasons from Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier. May appears to be the Dodgers easiest month by far. A quick look at their May schedule shows them playing @COL, @CHN, SF, COL, ARI, @SD, STL, @ARI, HOU, MIL - which is 18 out of 28 games at home. On the flip side, September appears to be the Dodgers toughest month. A look at the September schedule shows, ARI, SD, @SF, @ARI, STL, @WAS, @CIN, @SD, COL - which is 14 out of 26 games on the road.
Now let's take a look at how many games the Dodgers won in games in which their top five starters pitched in. In my seasonal simulation I took all 162 starts from each team from its top five starters. In reality this isn't too realistic, but it is too tough at this point to get starting rotation depth charts for each team, and in this exercise at least each team is playing by the same rules.
Clayton Kershaw is obviously head and shoulders above the rest of the Dodgers starters, netting 2.75 for the Dodgers in games that he starts than his nearest teammate (Chad Billingsley). Billingsley, Lilly and Capuano are all pretty interchangeable with Harang being the obvious 5th starter for the men in blue.