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2012 Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions

April 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

The Los Angeles Dodgers had an extremely challenging season off the field last year. Despite that, manager Don Mattingly and the rest of the team finished 2011 with an 82-79 record. The team's financial problems have limited General Manager Ned Colletti in terms of adding additional pieces to make the team a real threat in the National League West. As a result, the biggest addition to the team for 2012 is veteran starter Aaron Harang. Here are the projected starting lineup, starting rotation and closer situation.

Projected Lineup

A.J. Ellis (Catcher) - A few short stints in the majors have earned Ellis the spot as the starting catcher this season. Ellis doesn't really do anything noteworthy on the offensive end, as he just had 2 home runs and 27 RBI in 75 games over the last two seasons, but he did hit.271 with a.392 OBP in 31 games last year.

James Loney (First Base) - Loney hit.331 with 15 home runs and 67 RBI in just 96 games in 2007, but he has never been able to duplicate those numbers since then. He did finish with a respectable.288 average last year, but ended up with just 65 RBI after posting at least 88 RBI over the previous three seasons. The Dodgers are hoping he can step up and return to his 2007 form; he turns just 28 in May, so there is still plenty of time for him to take that next step and become a true force in the middle of the lineup.

Mark Ellis (Second Base) - Ellis is an acquisition the Dodgers made to bolster the team's offense. He will take over at the second base this year, although his average of.248 for the Oakland A's and Colorado Rockies last season is a cause for concern. He's already 34 years old, so it is hard to expect anything from the veteran at this point in his career.

Dee Gordon (Shortstop) - After getting a call-up in June, the 23-year-old made the most of his opportunity, as he hit.304 with 34 runs and 24 stolen bases in just 56 games. He has now claimed the leadoff role for 2012, and the Dodgers can't wait to see what kind of numbers he puts up in a full season.

Juan Uribe (Third Base) - The veteran had one of the worst seasons of his career with the Dodgers last year. After hitting 24 home runs with 85 RBI in 148 games with the Giants in 2010, Uribe had a miserable year with the Dodgers, hitting just.204 with 4 home runs and 28 RBI in 77 games last year. The Dodgers are hoping for a better year for him in 2012, otherwise the team will have a very tough time competing in the NL West.

Juan Rivera (Left Field) - Juan Rivera came over from the Toronto Blue Jays in a midseason trade and hit.274 with 5 home runs and 46 RBI in 62 games with the Dodgers. His solid play has earned him the starting spot and the chance to be a part of the Dodgers long-term. He hit.287 with 25 home runs and 88 RBI with the Angels in 2009.

Matt Kemp (Center Field) - Kemp had a monster year last year, exploding for an average of.324 with 39 home runs, 126 RBI and 40 stolen bases. He also won a Gold Glove in center field, which means he is pretty good defensively. He is considered the best all-around player the National League has to offer, and he is the early favorite to win the MVP in 2012.

Andre Ethier (Right Field) - The Dodgers need Ethier to rebound from a horrible 2011 season if they want to contend in the NL West. He finished with a pretty solid.292 average, but his power numbers plummeted, going from 54 home runs with 188 RBI in 2009 and 2010 to just 11 home runs with 62 RBI last year.

Projected Rotation

Clayton Kershaw (LHP) - At the tender age of 23, Kershaw won the NL Cy Young last year. He ended the season with a 21-5 record and a 2.28 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 33 starts. He has solidified himself as one of the game's premier young starters.

Chad Billingsley (RHP) - After going 16-10 with a 3.14 ERA in 2008, the 27-year-old has failed to live up to that mark since. In the past three seasons, he has compiled a mediocre 35-33 record. Last year, he went 11-11 with a career-worst 4.21 ERA. The Dodgers are desperately hoping that he can turn things around in 2012.

Ted Lilly (RHP) - The 36-year-old has been slowly on the decline in the last three seasons, but he is still capable of posting good numbers. Last year, he won 12 games with a 3.96 ERA and 1.16 WHIP.

Aaron Harang (RHP) - Harang is coming off his best season in the last four years. He went 14-7 with a 3.64 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 28 starts with the San Diego Padres last year. Harang hadn't had an ERA below 4.21 since way back in 2007, when he went 16-6 with a 3.73 ERA.

Chris Capuano (RHP) - After spending one season with the New York Mets, Capuano has come over to pitch for the Dodgers in 2012. He went 11-12 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 31 starts last year. He needs to lower his home run total if he wants his ERA to drop in 2012, but he should benefit from working in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium.

Projected Closer

Jake Guerra (RHP) - Guerra has the chance to be a full-time closer this year after impressing in the closer role late last year. He converted 21 of 23 save attempts with a 2.31 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He has the potential to save 35-40 games in 2012.

Be sure to visit us for help beating the baseball lines this season with expert baseball picks from the top handicappers in the industry.

Source: EzineArticles
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