My Ten Predictions for the Dodgers 2017 Season

It’s that time of year again. The Dodgers have packed up and left their Arizona Spring Training facilities, Opening Day is right around the corner, and we all have a little down time before the Freeway Series with that team which thinks Los Angeles is in the heart of Orange County.

Scott dropped his ten predictions for the season a few days ago, so here are mine:

1. Clayton Kershaw is going to have a bust out, break out, best season ever. I’m not saying that because I’m a homer and I think the man and the team can do no wrong. Heck, anybody who’s read more than three of my articles knows that. Nor do I mean he’s going to put up another impressive line of superhuman pitching numbers during the season.

I mean Kershaw is going to carry this team through the playoffs and on to a World Series Championship like Dodgers pitching heroes of the past. Sure, Kershaw had his share of postseason crash and burns in the past, but he started to shrug that albatross off his shoulders last season. This year, the Ace is due. He’s healthy, he’s hungry for it, the team and the timing is right for a World Series run, and Kershaw shall lead them to the promised land.

2. Andre Ethier will have brief success and then flame out quickly. As much as I love Captain Clutch, I think it’s curtains for the man. The past two spring Training injuries will take their toll – not so much on his body, but on his mind. As good an athlete as Andre is, he’s always been a little too emotional for his own good. That’s a sign to me that he won’t have the mental discipline necessary to bounce back from his second ST shutdown in a row.

He’ll return to the lineup, but too fast, without putting in the step by step work that is required to recover correctly. His talent and desire will carry him for a time, maybe a month, and we’ll all think Dre is back. Then he’ll over-exert himself in the wrong way, or he’ll suffer another bad luck, freak injury, or he’ll have another dugout blowup. Whatever the cause, he’ll lose his spot in the lineup, mope on the bench, and be out of the picture by the All-Star break.

3. At the first game I attend this season (April 4), I’ll fruitlessly search for a decent craft beer that’s locally brewed, and will grudgingly settle for an overpriced michelada that tastes oh so good, or for the best-kept beer secret in the park – a Korean-brewed Hite. Hite is lower priced than the lowest-priced domestic swill the stadium carries, and it tastes better than a bunch of them.

4. Speaking of attending games, I’ll miss at least one play of the night while standing in a food line. They have those TV screens so you can watch, but it’s never the same as viewing it from your seat.

5. Speaking of Korean imports, Hyun-Jin Ryu is also going to have a Dodgers career year. The man many counted out at the start of ST will have a solid year and become the unsung anchor of the rotation.

6. Another Dodger hero of mine will falter this year, Adrian Gonzalez. The iron man of the infield has seen his offensive production decline the last two seasons, and this year won’t be any different. He’ll still be reliable with RISP, but his weapon won’t be the long ball. He’s become¬†Tony Gwynn. Lots of RBI singles and some well-hit doubles will keep his RBI numbers up there until the dog days of summer take their toll, and the butter and eggs begin to melt. His playing time will sharply drop after the All-Star break.

7. Andrew Toles will take advantage of Ethier starting the season on the DL and make it very hard for the skipper to keep him on the bench when Ethier returns. Tolesey’s energy, speed on the base paths, and better-than-average bat will force the skipper’s hand to find an everyday spot for this invaluable Dodgers¬†spark plug.

8. Scott will have his annual “The Dodgers stink, they’ll never win again” phase, and I’ll calmly talk him through it, because I know the Dodgers (and he) will come around again. Like I do every year.

9. I’ll constantly hear my inner-voice version of Vin Scully calling plays in my mind as my brain struggles to comprehend the strangeness that will be Dodgers baseball without the master behind the mike.

10. Speaking of the strangeness of a missing Dodgers constant, I’ll have a private and very sad moment when the reality of this being the first season without my mother to share it with hits me.

Mom was the first Dodger fan I knew. For the last fifteen seasons (after my father passed away) she lived with us, and the biggest thing that I shared with her was baseball season and “those screwballs” as she lovingly called the boys in blue. It’s not going to be the same without Vinny and mom.

Still, I can’t wait to hear the words, “PLAY BALL!”

 

 

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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24 thoughts on “My Ten Predictions for the Dodgers 2017 Season

  1. Sorry for your loss. May she always be with you in spirit.

    And yes, I too know Hite beer. When I visit my parents in Fullerton, I stop at the Korean Supermarket, H-Mart in La Mirada and pick up some crisp refreshing Hite.

    I was contemplating the NL MVP award and came to the conclusion that it may as well be Kershaw unless Harper picks the slack back up. My dark horse is Matt Carpenter.

  2. Predictions not my long suit but two I know are a lock…..Both McCarthy and Hill spend time on the DL,,,,,Nuff said

      1. History says I will be right Oscar. I never liked the trade, I liked the re-signing even less. What I will say is that somewhere down the road, Urias will be in the rotation. If Ryu is totally healthy, I think he out pitches and wins more games than Hill. McCarthy is and always will be a BUM.

        1. 20 starts would be a win in my estimation. Same for Ryu. McCarthy? 20? I doubt it. Yeah, juggernaut if they were all there every 5th day. Does anyone trust that will happen? No, of course not. I hope for the best, but expect history to be repeated.

  3. Taylor, Thompson and Urias optioned. Bobby Wilson re-assigned to the minors.

    The roster’s done. Roberts says it’s Kike over Taylor because the former can play CF, but that doesn’t wholly ring true to me. Toles and Puig can cover Joc in a pinch, something else may be in play.

    But the very fact that I’m debating the 25th spot on the roster shows either:
    A. I’m nuts
    B. The team is loaded.

    1. I think retaining Kike is a huge blunder. Taylor outplayed the guy all spring and did a decent job when he did play CF. I knew they would keep SVS. But Wilson had an outstanding spring too. Luckily they are just a phone call away…

      1. Makes no sense to me. One of the things I remember Roberts saying at the beginning of Cactus league was that all spots would be competed for. Seems like utter bullshit to me. If I were Taylor, I’d be hoping to be traded. It’s like a betrayal to play so well and then sent down. But, maybe he’ll be back soon enough after Kike plays as usual.

    1. Artie boy

      I was watching the Dodgers show today about spring training, and I heard Vinny calling a game, and it brought tears to my eyes

    1. Back in Arizona to get at bats in a controlled environment..he will be in the lineup at Dodger Stadium on Saturday per Roberts.

      1. When you’re The Natural, I guess you don’t really need many ABs to be ready. Schwarber has that thing going too, but he doesn’t play SS.

        1. Rye

          Remember, Corey missed most of spring training last year.

          His first month wasn’t his best month, but it was fine for most rookies, with his expectations.

  4. We open at home against the hapless Pads. That’s a break. 3-1 to start the season. Then 6 on the road agin the Rocks and the Cubs. 6-4 after 10. So says Badgerdamus.

  5. My predictions:
    1 – 4 of the Dodgers’ opening 5 starting pitchers will end up on the DL this year (Kershaw the exception). Kazmir already on the DL; Ryu the 1st of the opening 5 to get there
    2 – This will be the year that the Dodgers trade Puig. He’ll go in a deadline deal.
    3 – The Dodgers will use at least 13 starting pitchers this year – the current 5 plus Kazmir, Wood, Urias, Stripling, Stewart, 2 other guys from the minors and a deadline acquisition. (They used 15 last year.)
    4 – Kershaw wins another Cy and is in the running for MVP.
    5 – The Dodgers win 93 but flame out in the playoffs because the Cubs/National/Giants/Mets have more ace quality starters. They win the Division again.
    6 – The Dodgers do not solve their trouble hitting with RISP and end up around .250 (again).
    7 – The Dodgers end up with OF platoons in all 3 positions.

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