Baseball isn’t performed on paper. That’s unhealthy information typically for followers of the Dodgers, who’ve had the finest report in baseball however didn’t win the World Series thrice in the previous six seasons. (To be honest, additionally they had the finest report in baseball and did win the World Series as soon as, and one other time, the different crew cheated to beat them in seven video games.)
But in the offseason, all we’ve is paper. Currently, one in every of the enjoyable bits of paper we’ve to have a look at is the record of projections. (Disclaimer: These projections aren’t truly on paper except you print them off the web.) So we thought we’d check out a few of the massive projection programs and see how they anticipate sure Dodgers gamers to do in 2023.
Up first: Mookie Betts! Here are the anticipated stat strains for Mookie from three projection programs: RotoChamps, Steamer, and Marcels (in the format of AVG/OBP/SLG HR RBI R).
RotoChamps: .274/.354/.524 31 75 111
Steamer: .269/.352/.492 31 85 108
Marcels: .264/.343/.491 26 68 95
There’s some fairly respectable consensus on a few of these projections. Everyone agrees Mookie’s going to be good this 12 months — his lowest projected OPS is .834, which might his lowest since 2017 however nonetheless nicely above common. But even the highest projection solely has Betts at .878, nearly precisely the place he was in 2022. It is sensible, as a result of these system by their nature don’t predict outlier seasons. But it nonetheless makes you suppose, “I bet Mookie has more in him than that.”
Part of the problem of projections is that they’re primarily based on previous efficiency. In 2021, Betts missed lots of time and wasn’t at his finest even when he was taking part in due to a nagging hip harm, which appears to have been resolved. In 2022, he missed a couple of weeks due to a fractured rib suffered in a freak outfield collision. There’s no motive, proper now, to anticipate both of these points to have an effect on him in 2023, however the projection programs type of assume they’ll.
Betts is one in every of the most proficient gamers in baseball, and he’s gained an MVP Award and completed in the high six 4 different occasions. If he’s wholesome in 2023, a .900+ OPS looks as if a logical expectation, and none of those projection programs come shut on that.
That may be a part of why a few of these projection programs have the Dodgers being considerably worse than final 12 months. If Mookie Betts posted a .930 OPS out of the leadoff spot as an alternative of the .840-.850 he’s being projected at, that may very well be a distinction of three or 4 wins for the crew. (Not that Betts’ WAR itself can be three or 4 wins greater, after all, however once more, baseball isn’t performed on paper, and also you don’t all the time want so as to add 4 WAR so as to add 4 wins. If the 2022 Dodgers had gone a awful 4-for-20 with RISP throughout that chilly stretch in the NLDS as an alternative of 0-for-20, they’d have swept the collection regardless of nonetheless not truly hitting nicely. Situational hitting issues, and large numbers out of your leadoff spot result in good conditions.)
Anyway, it’s enjoyable to see what the projections take into consideration Mookie. But if he’s wholesome, he’s leaving these items in the mud in 2023.
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