Before the Dodgers begin their season today, let’s take a look at some Over/Under predictions. The sport that lives and breathes counting stats will be turned on in it’s head in this 60 game MLB 2020 season.
Over/Under Regular Season Wins: 38 (.633 Win %) OVER
- 2019 Result: 106 (.654 Win %)
The William Hill Sports Book currently has the Los Angeles Dodgers, along with the New York Yankees, regular season wins over/under set at 38. This Dodgers roster seems absolutely loaded with talent and historically, they’ve utilized their depth to overcome injuries. Now they’ll have to use it to overcome injuries and a pandemic.
As always, there are bullpen questions with the Dodgers, but if the national consensus that the 2020 Dodgers are more talented than their 2019 counterparts holds true, going over 38 wins is obtainable. Losing a starter or two could be problematic, but Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin proved they can hold their own.
The stacked lineup, buoyed by a DH spot, signature depth, and Gold Glove outfield will anchor the Dodgers and help them weather potential pitching headaches.
Over/Under Team Leader Home Runs: 18 (0.3 Home Runs per Game) UNDER
- 2019 Result: 47 (0.3 HR/G) – Cody Bellinger
Wait. What? You just got done talking about this epic lineup and now you’re taking the under on home runs?
Hear me out. Cody Bellinger produced legitimately Ruthian numbers in his first 56 games of 2019 by blasting his way to 20 home runs (0.35 HR/G) and a .379/.465/.749 slash line.
.@Cody_Bellinger = Babe Ruth? ?
Bellinger is the 1st player with 19 HR, 7 assists through a team’s first 52 games since Babe Ruth in 1932. ?
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) May 28, 2019
The home run rate simply wasn’t sustainable – he “cooled” off in his final 100 games (0.27 HR/G). At that rate, assuming he played in all 60 games, Bellinger would hit 16 homers.
Matching the scorching 2019 start also seems unlikely due to his Summercamp swing tinkering.
Joc Pederson and his newly found biceps would have earned consideration, but he simply won’t get the plate appearances as a matchup hitter.
The incredible Mookie Betts’s career high is 32 home runs (0.24 HR/G) and that’s playing half of his games in hitter-friendly Fenway.
Home runs won’t be scarce on this roster, but a player hitting 18 is a stretch.
Over/Under Team Leader RBI: 44 (0.73 RBI/G) OVER
- 2019 Leader: 115 (0.73 RBI/G) – Cody Bellinger
The addition of Mookie Betts provides even more protection for the top of the lineup. Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Bellinger, Max Muncy, and Joc Pederson will see more pitches in the zone and have more RBI opportunities.
In the bottom half of the order, Chris Taylor has his 2017 swing back and Kiki Hernandez is in a contract year. Both of them know the pressure is on to produce. Both of them have been raking at the plate in exhibition games.
Now, the ace in the hole for hitting the RBI over – designated hitter! If you thought the Dodgers had lineup length before, imagine replacing an automatic out with Justin Turner or AJ Polluck.
The Dodgers already had a great offense. Now they add an AL MVP and a DH.
Over/Under Team Leader Wins: 9 (.750 Win %) UNDER
- 2019 Leader: (.762 Win %) – Clayton Kershaw 16
Taking the under on wins speaks more to how the Dodgers have handled the rotation in recent years and not to any starter concerns. They’ve skipped turns when guys aren’t pitching their best. They abused the 10-day injured list so badly that the MLB had to change the rules to prevent teams from using it for extra rest.
Nobody should be surprised if manager Dave Roberts plugs in May or Gonsolin to give a starter a breather.
A shorter season also means shorter leashes. Now more than ever, logging the prerequisite five innings to earn a win could be a challenge with one bad inning. The scoring definition for a win will hamper star pitcher Walker Buehler. Buehler will reportedly be limited to just three to four innings for his first couple of starts.
8 wins feels about right for the 2020 team leader.
Leave your over/under predictions in the comments below!