Sports Illustrated 2016 Predictions

Sports Illustrated 2016 Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions



You've got to worry about health with Jorge De La Rosa. He used to be a guy who tickled the mid-90s; now he's a low-90s guy and has a plus changeup, and both breaking balls change speed. He's more of a finesse guy now.... Chad Bettis made huge strides last year. They revamped his delivery last spring training, and it paid dividends. It's not front-of-the-rotation stuff but good enough to give you value in the middle.... They never seem to commit—are they rebuilding or are they in a holding pattern? I will say I think they are improving the system.

  • Lineup & Defense

Supposedly Yasiel Puig's more mature on the field and off the field. You would hope so. He could be Yoenis Cespedes, he could be Mike Trout, he could be Bryce Harper if he could play under control, calm down a little bit.... Corey Seager's the game's best prospect for a reason. He's a Troy Tulowitzki, Cal Ripken Jr.-sized shortstop, and he could play like that. I can't put him ahead of Carlos Correa, though they're in the same category.

Joc Pederson swings from his ass, trying to hit it not just out but outta this world, into the next universe. He does get some walks, but a .210 average is a .210 average.... Yasmani Grandal's terrible second half was health-related, mainly his left shoulder. He had off-season surgery on it. He might lead all catchers in home runs, with around 25.... I think the Giants win the division, and Arizona might be better too.

  • Rotation & Bullpen

Losing Zack Greinke in free agency would cripple anybody, no matter how much money you have. Then you lose Brett Anderson to injury, and holy crap, the rest of your rotation is Scott Kazmir, Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Mike Bolsinger? You got question marks there, where before you had Boom-Boom.... Clayton Kershaw is the single most irreplaceable pitcher in baseball. If they lose him, they're done.

Maybe we'll see Julio Urias this year. Top pitching prospect in baseball. Plus fastball, at times plus-plus. Sharp-breaking curveball, downward, tight rotation. A good demeanor on the mound. He's like Jose Fernandez and Doc Gooden, just a 19-year-old freak.... They didn't go out and add anybody of note to the bullpen. Kenley Jansen was pretty dominant most of the year, but you look at the other guys—God, who knows what's it's gonna be.