2015 Season Predictions
It’s funny that as of yet we’ve really not touched on Adrian Gonzalez—other than a brief blurb—or the other major Dodger headliner not named Kershaw, Yasiel Puig. So we will here ever so briefly.
-I thought last year’s true Dodger MVP was Gonzalez. He likely will be their actual team MVP this year, which may put him into strong consideration for NL MVP.
-Yasiel Puig is that player who doesn’t make a ton of sense. You look at his common stats: 16 home runs, 69 runs batted in, .269 average and they’re simply not very impressive. But then you look at his on-base percentage, .382, and slugging, .480, for a total OPS of .863 and you realize he led the Dodgers.
But .863 wouldn’t be that great if you look at historical players or even look at some of the game’s best throughout baseball even today in the pitching era we’re currently in. That’s why ballpark relative stats can be helpful.
The point is that Puig is a great player, and yet as much fun as he is to watch and as much as he moves the needle based on sabermetrics, he still leaves something to be desired. In his first two postseasons, he has struggled, at least statistically. But that’s actually more a product of playing against the Cardinals in both postseasons.
Anyway, the prediction is that Puig and the Dodgers will avoid the Cardinals this postseason (somehow) and Puig will put up numbers closer to what he had in the 2013 divisional series against the Atlanta Braves when he hit .471, was literally on base half the time and slugged a ridiculous .529. How?
Puig is actually uniquely wired to be a postseason savant. He and the Dodgers have just run into a buzzsaw the past two Octobers. Puig won’t be enough to carry the Dodgers to the World Series, but he’ll at least give them a chance.
-And finally, the Dodgers are good enough to make their first World Series since 1988. They’ve been close a few times. But let’s not act as if this is a curse on the level of some of the great curses in sports history. It’s just been some bad luck that every organization faces at some time in its history.
The Dodgers in 2015 seem to have the pieces, the roster, the makeup to break through that fairly menial dry spell. They have the depth, which should allow them to stay competitive if they fall on hard times with injuries.
But it’s nearly impossible to imagine Don Mattingly leading the Dodgers to a World Series ever. Unless he is released at midseason, the Dodgers will likely advance no further than the NLCS once more.