The Dodgers will not win 104 games this year… and I am not saying that they aren’t as good as last year. Depending upon how things shake out, you could be even better. They just won’t win as many games because all the teams in the NL West are better… in fact, most of the teams in the NL are better… except for maybe the Marlins and the Pirates.
Competition is going to be more intense and the competition is better. The Giants are better, the Rockies may or may not be better, and the Padres are also better. Even with losing J.D. Martinez, the D-Backs are likely better. They get Tomas back and Sousa and Dyson help make up for the loss or Martinez.
So, I doubt the Dodgers will win 104 games again… they might have difficulty winning 95, but I think they will improve, just due to experience and better play from LF and I am inclined to predict that Matt Kemp will have a monster year… but I will wait until he makes the team before making such a crazy prediction. However, I am seriously starting to believe that. He certainly has the support of many fans and his teammates.
Then comes the revelation that Yasmani Grandal has been working on his launch angle all winter. We know what that has done for some players. What might be lost on some is that Grandal started working on launch angles to better understand hitters and to call a better game. Then it evolved into improving his game. I said it before: Yasmani Grandal has 40 HR power. I am going to give Yasmani a new Nickname “The Kracken.” Is the 2018 the year the Kracken is released?
By the way, Yasmani is not my favorite Dodger player, not even close… but a guy who starts studying “launch angles” so that he can become a better signal caller is very telling. I admire his work ethic and how when he lost his job to Barnes, he never uttered a cross word. Even with his passed balls, I love Yasmani Grandal’s game calling and he changes games with his pitch framing. If he could jack 40 BIG FLIES, now that would be incredible!
Spring Training Notes
- I think you are going to see a lot of Trayce Thompson this Spring as he will afforded every opportunity to make the team, as he is out of options. Healthy, he could be a great asset! Don’t judge him by 2017.
- Wilmer Font, Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart are going to be stretched out as starers, but I don’t expect to see any of them start many games this season. Walker Buehler… probably!
- Wolmer Font is scheduled to start the Opening Game on Friday.
- Tuesday’s Dodger Inside Photoblog is HERE!
- The Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have “open dialogue” with their franchise player… whatever that means.
- A scout just told me that no team will trade for Kemp, but privately some think his only chance is with the Dodgers and a couple actually think he could have a “monster year.” His smiling face is all over the PhotoBlog. Jon SooHoo is an employee of the Dodgers. Dodger Insider is ran by Dodger Employees. All FAZ would have to do is tell them to not feature Kemp and we would not see him. I am telling you right now (barring injury), Matt Kemp will be the Dodger’s starting leftfielder. I think he has one really good year left. Maybe I should have called this “Release the Krackens.” It could be an amazing story!
- Get your MLB.com subscriptions up to date – Friday’s game is on TV!
Opening Day Lineup Prediction:
- Chris Taylor CF
- Corey Seager SS
- Justin Turner 3B
- Cody Bellinger 1B
- Yasiel Puig RF
- Matt Kemp LF
- Austin Barnes C (But it could be Grandal if Kershaw wants him, even Mad-Bum on the mound)
- Logan Forsythe 2B
- Clayton Kershaw P