If you hadn’t noticed already, all of us contributors over at True Blue LA recently gave our predictions for the 2012 season.
As you can see, I have the Dodgers at 81-81, finishing 3rd in the division, and missing the playoffs.
I explained why in a few paragraphs.
While a new era in Dodgers history has begun, the current roster is still stuck in the previous era, arguably surrounding the prime talent with even worse veterans than last year. Any hopes of making a run at either the division or the playoffs revolves around the team making a gigantic splash in trades or career years from 3-4 players.
Given that a compilation of projection systems has the Dodgers going 77-85, finishing fourth, and PECOTA has the Dodgers going 78-84, finishing fifth, I don’t think my view is out of line. I believe the Dodgers are better than their projections though, with Andre Ethier having a better year to make up for Matt Kemp’s inevitable regression, a strong bullpen with depth (unnecessarily deep), and Nathan Eovaldi and Rubby De La Rosa (down the stretch) to help out with the rotation.
While I suppose there’s always hope in what is still a weak division, the future seasons are where the light at the end of the tunnel lies.
When I submitted my prediction, I actually thought I was being a bit generous with the .500 mark, as I put them there despite the fact that every projection system has the Dodgers going down like the Hindenburg.
To my surprise though, the overwhelming consensus among the contributors was that the team would finish in the mid-80s to high-80s in the win column, with half of them predicting the playoffs and nobody predicting a finish lower than 2nd.
Exploring further, the sentiment among the commenters was that of agreement with the contributors, and more than a few even went as far as predicting over 90 wins. Now to be fair, two statistically minded commenters did provide a bit of realism. Andrew Grant, who formerly ran True Blue LA, had the Dodgers at 79-83, while Xeifrank of Dodger Sims put the team at 80-82. As for most everybody else, I’ll just say that comments don’t generally bother me when I read them on mainstream sites or message boards, but I consider the True Blue LA crowd to be generally intelligent, so if they are solidly optimistic about 2012, then I can’t imagine how high the casual fan must be (*snicker*).
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly fine to have optimistic predictions because you want things to end up a certain way. However, it concerns me that the expectations seem to clash harshly with the reality of the odds, as the mixture seems to point directly to a huge letdown this year.
While I hope the Dodgers win it all in 2012, I expect to see something that resembles a .500 team, and I hope you do too.